Chapter 6: Religion
Does oxytocin bring us closer to God?
I had a religious experience in an 1982 Honda that caused me to examine this question.
What happens when you pray?
In several experiments we have tested the brains of people in our lab and in churches while they pray.
Why do people dance?
We ran an experiment with a contradance group to find out.
Is the moral molecule found in everyone's brain?
I do an experiment in Papua New Guinea to find out.
Does meditation make you a better person?
We measure people's brains and behavior to find out.
If James Earl Jones read the bible to you, would you feel God's presence?
We try this in an experiment.
BONUS: In preparation for my studies of religious belief and behavior, my daughter and I attended a teaching by the Dalai Lama in San Jose, CA.
BONUS: I visit the reliquary of the apostle St. James in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The tradition in this cathedral is to hug the statue of St. James after viewing the coffin with his bones.
How do you feel when you see this picture of the horsehead nebula?
Some people feel God's presence while others marvel at the universe.
Does religious belief use the brain's pathways for love?
Our experiments have examined this. This statue of St. Teresa of Avila is an example of religious ecstasy.