Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Neuroscience Could Be Killing God

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: neuroscience, science, religion, bible, Immanent Frame, New York Times, ,

Brain Scan ImageA lot of ink has been spilled over recent experiments that study religious experiences using brain scanners. Brendan Mackie wrote about the experiments back in 2007 for Utne.com. New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote about how neuroscience will “not going to end up undermining faith in God, it’s going to end up challenging faith in the Bible.” 

Brooks’ assertion is entirely backwards, according to Kelly Bulkeley, writing for the Immanent Frame religion blog. Since religious experiences have differed drastically in the brain scans, depending on the person and the religion, Bulkeley writes that neuroscience will likely undermine people’s faith in a monotheistic God, favoring a more polytheistic view of religion. It will, however, reaffirm the importance of the Bible as “a valuable collection of teachings about history, morality, and collective meaning-making.”

john robbins
6/10/2008 12:27:54 PM

My comment is on the headline, "Neuroscience Could Be Killing God." From my lay readings in neuroscience over the past two years, I question whether this headline isn't like many that try to draw attention but only distort initial understanding of the story. Maybe the person responsible for this headline should have more accurately written it, "Neuroscience Could Be Killing the Concept of God." This comment is only regarding the writing of this headline and not on the stories related.