Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The biological basis of religion?

Via the Huff Post:

According to Psychology Today and referencing the American Journal of Psychiatry, serotonin, the brain chemical in charge of moderating mood, metabolism, and sexuality, has been linked to spiritual experiences. Psychology Today reports:

"A team of Swedish researchers has found that the presence of a receptor that regulates general serotonin activity in the brain correlates with people's capacity for transcendence, the ability to apprehend phenomena that cannot be explained objectively. Scientists have long suspected that serotonin influences spirituality because drugs known to alter serotonin such as LSD also induce mystical experiences. But now they have proof from brain scans linking the capacity for spirituality with a major biological element."

So what does this mean? Well, the researchers believe that it provides evidence that religiosity and spirituality are not defined necessarily or entirely by environmental or cultural factors, such as upbringing. Basically, those with a higher concentration of serotonin receptors will therefore most likely show a stronger inclination towards spiritual acceptance.

Read the entire psychology today article Here


  1. Yeah, that's my solution: that's why there are black sheep in the rationalist community who want to be religious by all means and vice-versa...

  2. And some of us are born with a cynical gene where the religious gene usually goes!

  3. There are many articles about this. Religiosity runs in people with temporal lobe disorders. (among many others)


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