UK Science Center to Probe Mysteries of the Mind
Can there be a predisposition for fundamentalism? Do the faithful cope more easily with pain? Are they faster to recover from illness? Such are the questions scientists and theologians will attempt to answer at a new study center which starts experiments into human consciousness in the next few months.
Does that mean they think fundamentalism is genetic, therefore it can be cured with some wonderdrug?
OXSCOM has received a $2 million grant for a two-year pilot run from the American-based philanthropic John Templeton Foundation to carry out a range of experiments, some of which will use pain techniques to see if the faithful cope better with pain than non-believers.
Scientists will use chilli pepper to burn volunteers' skin, said OXSCOM deputy director Toby Collins.
Then, religious icons or other symbolic artifacts will be shown to them to see if they make a difference in pain perception.
It's not the image of Jesus or the symbol of the Cross that brings peace. It's the living, resurrected Jesus and the knowledge that He suffered on the Cross for our sins so that His Spirit could dwell in our hearts.
The people of faith who are survivors of the tsunami are not being comforted by pictures; they are comforted by their faith.
For crying out loud, the public are not lab rats and you can't treat them like lab rats in an experiment and hope to get ANY meaningful results.
Greenfield said its time has come because of people's propensity to go against all logic, based on certain beliefs and faiths.
She highlighted the rise of fundamentalist beliefs as a concern.
"We are very mindful as to the state of the world as to the strength of beliefs and what that can do for world peace and well-being," she said.
"What is it in the brain that, in the presence of evidence, refutes that evidence?"
Beliefs can be remarkably resilient, even against logic, added Oxford theologian, professor John Brooke, and this merits study.
He used the example of the Asian tsunami disaster to suggest that even a huge tragedy can often fail to force the faithful to flounder in their beliefs. Why is that?
This really would be insulting except these people obviously do not realize that they are being condescending and ignorant about people who have faith and spiritual beliefs. I believe science has yielded some very helpful technology (like computers, the internet and medical breakthroughs) but when science tries to understand faith and/or religion, science gets way out of its league.
I Corinthians 1: 18 - 21 and 26 - 31 (King James Version)
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.