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brain, mind, and religion

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brain, mind, and religion
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From the 1980s on, scientists have been thinking seriously about what their studies of the brain and the mind might have to say about religion. We often think of the brain and the mind as identical, but they are not. The brain is a physical object inside the head. It consists of cells and undergoes chemical reactions and electrical pulses. The mind is the collection of our thoughts and experiences. Many scientists think that these two are just one thing, a mindbrain, seen from two different angles. Nevertheless, it is still impossible to connect most ideas people have with specifi c chemical and physical events in their brains. As a result, scientists usually focus on either the brain or the mind. Those who focus on the brain are called neuropsychologists. Those who focus on the mind are called cognitive scientists. THE BRAIN AND RELIGION Neuropsychologists who study religion often explore peculiar experiences that some religious people call "mystical." Some are experiences that God is present. Others are experiences of being one with the universe. Neuropsychologists believe that these experiences result from events in the brain, but they do not agree on what those events are. One researcher might believe that people experience God as a result of electrical discharges in parts of the brain known as the ...


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