Friday, November 17, 2006

More Godspotting, tongues-ing and sensational Science-ing

This Slate article outlines some great points about the Sensationalism of Science in the mainstream media. In essence, the New York Times reported on what is becoming a trend of MRI scans to determine if there's some correlation between various observed neural patterns and various behaviors, in this case, speaking in Tongues, or the idea of being puppeted by God.

Much like Engber, I'm rather skeptical that a positive response means something in this design. Showing a contrast in the brain between two behaviors does not bring God into manifest in Science, and it's a dangerous position to take in any experiment that correlation equals causation, to say nothing of the mammoth leap that's being intimated here.

The brain is a couple billion neurons inside a bone suitcase and what goes on in there is all but certainly what governs individuals. While suggesting that religious experiences are influenced beyond that tissue and a dualist attitude about self (a body and soul) are ubiquitous in our species, it flies in the face of everything we objectively know about the brain. Besides, the religious have been rejecting the data that disproves most religious explanations for centuries, why would they hold any belief in data that would validate their claims? Oh, right.

No comments: