Scientists Learn How to Erase God and Patriotism from the Brain!

I cannot tell if this is supposed to be some sort of Onion Parody. These days, one never knows.

I reproduce the whole column, so that I cannot be accused of exaggeration. Read it and luxuriate in the pure quill stupidity.

A bizarre experiment claims to be able to make Christians no longer believe in God and make Britons open their arms to migrants in experiments some may find a threat to their values.

Scientists looked at how the brain resolves abstract ideological problems.

Using a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), researchers safely shut down certain groups of neurones in the brains of volunteers.

TMS, which is used to treat depression, involves placing a large electromagnetic coil against the scalp which creates electric currents that stimulate nerve cells in the region of the brain involved in mood control.

Researchers found the technique radically altered religious perceptions and prejudice.

Belief in God was reduced almost by a third, while participants became 28.5 per cent less bothered by immigration numbers.

Dr Keise Izuma, from the University of York, said: “People often turn to ideology when they are confronted by problems.

“We wanted to find out whether a brain region that is linked with solving concrete problems, like deciding how to move one’s body to overcome an obstacle, is also involved in solving abstract problems addressed by ideology.”

The scientists targeted the posterior medial frontal cortex, a brain region a few inches up from the forehead that is associated with detecting and responding to problems.

Volunteers were asked to rate their belief in God, heaven, the devil, and hell after undergoing pre-screening to ensure that they held religious convictions.

Dr Izuma said: “We decided to remind people of death because previous research has shown that people turn to religion for comfort in the face of death.

“As expected, we found that when we experimentally turned down the posterior medial frontal cortex, people were less inclined to reach for comforting religious ideas despite having been reminded of death.”

The American participants were also shown two essays written by newly arrived immigrants – one highly complimentary of the US and the other extremely critical.

Dr Izuma said: “When we disrupted the brain region that usually helps detect and respond to threats, we saw a less negative, less ideologically motivated reaction to the critical author and his opinions.”

The research, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, suggests our brains use the same basic mental pathways to solve practical problems such as following directions or ideological issues such as immigration and religion.

Lead author Dr Colin Holbrook, form the the University of California at Los Angeles, said: “These findings are very striking, and consistent with the idea that brain mechanisms that evolved for relatively basic threat-response functions are re-purposed to also produce ideological reactions.”

My comment:

We will discover later that the section of the brain affected deals with rational thinking, and once the magnetic flows hinder that, belief in God and worry about earthly dangers both are soothed away. I assume a similar study performed before and after a few stiff drinks will produce the same results.


I assume the simple basics of scientific thinking are unknown to Selina Sykes, the writer of this absurd article, or that she knows nothing about control groups, cause and effect, or basic logic.

What the articles is describing is an effect on the brain that produces a reduction of worry. When people worry less, they show less fear, even of things of which they should be afraid.

I used to tend bar: strong drink impairs judgment. Underestimating a threat is not courage, it is impaired judgment. Likewise, strong drink impaired the type of critical, rational thinking that supports belief in God, or, for that matter, belief in Special Relativity.

The column does not mention how many participants started believing that faster than light drive or time travel were possible after the transcranial magnetic stimulation.

I am reminded of the shoddy scientific experiment used to support the metaphysical claim that free will was illusion, based on a detected neural action registered before the subject claimed to have formed the decision. The experiment took no account of other brain actions not registered, nor what the meaning of that particular brain action was: as if the pounding of the gavel, since it came before the Judge made a ruling, was the cause of the Judges ruling, hence proving the Judge did not exist.

In my day, in my school, even schoolboys knew the meaning of post hoc ergo propter hoc. That newspaper hacks, a profession less honest than harlots or professional gamblers, would not know is unsurprising. That an alleged scientist would not is unforgivable.