How Religion Can Affect Health | + Opinion

One scientist used brain scans of rabbis to inform his research

Source: How Religion Can Affect Health

Opinion: Scroll down the above-linked article to compare the brain scans of Dr. Andrew Newberg and a certain rabbi. Newberg caught my eye some years ago when he – at that time – suggested all religions are basically the same because participation in them activates similar regions of the brain among test subjects.

I was critical of that claim, arguing that we had no reliable way of knowing what subjects (with varied religious affiliations) actually experienced.

To his credit, Newberg’s ideas have evolved since then and his approach seems to have become far more careful and humble. Instead of falling into the lure of scientism he seems to be doing good science—that is, admitting the limits of a given study and not speculating too far beyond the data.

Newberg was also in the 2008 film Religulous, which I thought was pretty facile. Nonetheless, the film shows that even back then Newberg was a big shot and pretty connected in the entertainment industry.


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