This has to be embarrassing . . . if you’re an atheist. A new study performed at the University of York used targeted magnetism to shut down part of the brain. The result: belief in God disappeared among more than 30 percent of participants.
That in itself may not seem so embarrassing, but consider that the specific part of the brain they frazzled was the posterior medial frontal cortex—the part associated with detecting and solving problems, i.e., reasoning and logic.
In other words, when you shut down the part of the brain most associated with logic and reasoning, greater levels of atheism result.
You’ve heard the phrase, “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist”? Apparently we can now also say, “I have too many brains to be an atheist.”
For a group that makes so much noise vaunting its superior prowess with logic and reasoning, this study has got to be quite a deflator. For a group that claims to be rooted primarily in logic and reason, and to exist for little reason other than that they have used logic and reason to free themselves from belief in God and, as they allege, superstition and fairy tales, this study is the equivalent of a public depanting—i.e., the would-be emperor’s got no clothes.
The Daily Mail reports:
The study was carried out by Dr Keise Izuma from the University of York and Colin Holbrook from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
They recruited 38 participants with an average age of 21, to take part in the study.
Each of these participants said they held significant religious beliefs, and the majority held moderate to extremely conservative political beliefs. . . .
The findings, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, reveal that people whose brains were targeted by TMS reported 32.8 per cent less belief in God, angels, or heaven.
Despite the clear correlation between disabled reasoning and atheism, the scientists demurred from drawing that conclusion. Instead, these secularists found a way to spin the results against religion:
Dr Izuma said: “People often turn to ideology when they are confronted by problems.” . . .
“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.”
Dr Holbrook added that the findings are consistent with the idea that regions of the brain that have evolved to deal with threats are “repurposed” to also produce ideological reactions.
In other words, these scientists are arguing what Dawkins, Dennett, and other new atheists have been arguing: religion (“ideology”) has hijacked a part of the brain that originally “evolved” to solve only real-world problems. When confronted with problems that they determined would involve abstract answers—death, afterlife, or even political issues like immigration—this part of the brain draws from its ideological beliefs in order to confront perceived “threats.”
This spin is absurd, if for no other reason than the blindness of the blind guide: importing the ideology (hello!) of Darwinism to formulate a tortured explanation of the otherwise clear implication of the study.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be (Rom. 8:7).
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse (Rom. 1:18–20).
Perhaps in feeling the need to confront the “threat” of God, these professors crafted a conclusion that relegates Him to an ideological meme that hijacked (“repurposed”) a part of the brain that more properly should be attuned to hunting and gathering, avoiding potholes, and finding ways to pay your student loans (these studies require huge grants and high tuitions, after all).
The problem is, this laughably transparent attempt to exalt evolution and downplay the existence of God has one major flaw: it proves that the best way to get there is to turn off reasoning and logic—the very part of the brain that does the very tasks they wish to exalt.
You can’t have it both ways, atheists. Reason and logic exist because the God of the Bible exists. What this study proves is not that any hijacking took place, but that a tremendous suppression is taking place: of that which must be presupposed. Without the God of the Bible, reasoning would be impossible. Thank you to Izuma and Holbrook for showing us this strong relationship between the two. Christians can further rest content understanding what we’ve believe all along: the existence of God and the use of logic and reasoning are hard-wired and inseparably intertwined in the brains of every human being.
For more on subjects like this, and the dependence of logic upon the God of the Bible, see Biblical Logic: In Theory and Practice.