The Science of Willpower – the Power of Religion?

February 15th, 2012

I have recently come across several pieces from scientists skeptical of religion suggesting that they are coming to see significant benefits to both individuals and society of religion. Religious people tend to have higher self control, they are more trusting, and they are happier, than people who are not religious. So, is this benefit the gift of a divine being, or is it an emergent property of a non-conscious evolutionary selection process? (more…)

Mind, Brain and Spirit

March 21st, 2011

Scientific research into the human brain and the phenomena of consciousness and choice is one of the most rapidly evolving areas in science, and it includes the fields of neurobiology, psychology and even computer science. At the same time, the debate between strict materialism and various types of dualism, which dates back at least 400 years, is alive and well. A selection of resources is provided below.

ISAS – Session #3 – June 6, 2011

March 14th, 2011

The Human Brain – On June 6, Dr. Justin Junge led a mind-stretching discussion on the human brain. In addition to probing some of the questions about knowledge, truth and science from the previous two sessions, Justin explored some of the latest advances in brain imaging and new scientific discoveries about the brain. However, these advances remain limited and tentative in light of the extraordinary complexity of the human brain, which he described as the most sophisticated and highly ordered object in the universe. While the claims and the graphics about the brain may be bold and detailed, they are really guesses based on a relatively tiny data set.

This ISAS live discussion session was held at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center at 1276 Main St., Concord, Massachusetts, from 7:30 to 9:00 PM. A recording is available at New Church audio at this link.