God is a Construct By Which We Measure Our Brains
There is a (mostly) pretty good outline on which parts of the brain produce which “religious” experiences on NPR.
- Serotonin triggers mystical experiences
- The temporal lobe, under seizure conditions, can experience voices
- Frontal lobe activity is increased by meditating, regardless of on what
Then there’s the mostly
- “New Research” says thoughts can increase your immune system (why is all the woo always credited to “New Research” or the “New Science”? Meaningful results only come after years of research and combined efforts)
- NDEs (sigh)
News articles on Near Death Experiences are always sloppily written. Even when the rest of the articles are concise and objective, sections on NDE’s seem to always contain snide comments and dismissive terms like “materialists” to undermine any finding that doesn’t conform to a spiritual interpretation of the data. And they very often try to spins the reports with a strong reliance on anecdotes from doctors who were obviously not even trying to study the phenomenon and therefore didn’t have any notes or adequate test plans to draw on.
Vague explanations ( like “it looked like a toothbrush”) are accepted without question as a descriptions of high tech medical instrument that may look roughly toothbrush shaped in black and white silhouette and stories told months or years later are admitted as evidence.
Any real study needs to be set up so that they can’t be vague; this is the same sort of thing that muddles the study of psychics, the use of descriptions that can be interpreted in multiple ways must be questioned.
The tests that have been specifically set up to eliminate this vagueness, like the placing of written cards on top of cabinets, have come up a no go.
Unfortunately the NDE article is written by Barbara Bradley Hagerty, and she does have a book on spirituality called Fingerprints of God that pretty much depends on fuzzy anecdotes and woo.
Anecdotes are not evidence. They can help to flesh out evidence but are pretty much worthless on their own.