The opposition between religious beliefs and scientific evidence can be explained by difference in brain structures and cognitive activity. Scientists have found critical thinking is suppressed in the brains of people who believe in the supernatural.
Published in PLOS One, their study examines how the parts of the brain responsible for empathy and analytical reasoning are linked to faith and spiritual thinking. It suggests religious beliefs and scientific thinking clash because different brain areas are involved in both cognitive processes. People who believe in the supernatural appear to suppress areas associated with critical thinking.
"From what we understand about the brain, the leap of faith to belief in the supernatural amounts to pushing aside the critical/analytical way of thinking...", says lead author Tony Jack, a professor of philosophy at Case Western Reserve.
The opposition between religious beliefs and scientific evidence can be explained by a tension different brain structures. (Istock)