Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Study Suggests: Born Again = Small Brains

(Religion News Service) -For decades, mainline Protestants have been beset by bad news: declining numbers, aging membership, waning cultural influence.A new study from Duke University Medical Center, however, gives these Protestants one reason for cheer: they seem to have larger brains than born-again Christians, Roman Catholics and the religiously unaffiliated.

The study, which examined the hippocampus region of the brain, found that Protestants who did not have a "born again" experience had significantly more gray matter than either those who reported a life-changing religious experience, Catholics, or unaffiliated older adults.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Templeton Foundation, included at least two MRI measurements of the hippocampus region of 268 adults between 1994 and 2005.

It found an association between participants' professed religious affiliation and the physical structure of their brain. Specifically, those identified as Protestant who did not have a religious conversion or born-again experience — more common among their evangelical brethren — had a bigger hippocampus. (Read more)

Comment: John Templeton Foundation contributes a sizable portion of his fortune to research that attempts to reconcile religion and science. His foundation awards the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, which identifies those who have made accomplishments in the area of ecumenism.[1]

There may be a good explanation for the smaller-sized brain, but I'm sure it is being construed that Christians aren't as smart.