I love science. There is nothing more enjoyable than science pointing out the obvious. Some of my favorites have been that caffeine can cause lack of sleep; over doing exercise could cause stress on joints; most things fall in downward motion. My goal is not to insult the ghost of Einstein, but to enjoy a little bit of obvious in the recent scientific study Being Born Again Linked to More Brain Atrophy.
This article is so good I am going to address my favorite paragraphs.
Older adults who say they've had a life-changing religious experience are more likely to have a greater decrease in size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain critical to learning and memory, new research finds.
Explanation: People who see things that aren’t there have a smaller brain and trouble remembering. I am leaning on the side of truth here especially those people who saw Mary, the Mother of God, in a grilled cheese sandwich.
According to the study, people who said they were a "born-again" Protestant or Catholic, or conversely, those who had no religious affiliation, had more hippocampal shrinkage (or "atrophy") compared to people who identified themselves as Protestants, but not born-again.
Explanation: People who base all their most important decisions on something that might or might not have occurred over 2000 years ago might not be using the whole brain. People who scream and shout that this is the only way to make decisions do have a smaller brain. A smaller brain also means a tendency to have an outline of a fish symbol on a car. Stay clear of these pea brains on the road.
"One interpretation of our finding -- that members of majority religious groups seem to have less atrophy compared with minority religious groups -- is that when you feel your beliefs and values are somewhat at odds with those of society as a whole, it may contribute to long-term stress that could have implications for the brain," Amy Owen, lead author of the study and a research associate at Duke University Medical Center, said in a Duke news release.
Explanation: People who feel they are being persecuted for their religious beliefs are thinking that you are looking at them funny because you want to hurt them. In fact, it is the crazy pamphlets they keep handing out and asking me if I have found Jesus that makes me look twice. Born agains are the most intense people ever and if they would just relax on Sunday instead of going to church for 6 hours of dancing and singing and crying and laughing and drinking two pots of coffee and eating thirteen donuts with people they think are phonies, their brain might grow.
"Other studies have led us to think that whether a new experience you consider spiritual is interpreted as comforting or stressful may depend on whether or not it fits in with your existing religious beliefs and those of the people around you," David Hayward, research associate at Duke University Medical Center, added. "Especially for older adults, these unexpected new experiences may lead to doubts about long-held religious beliefs, or to disagreements with friends and family."
Explanation: People who are different for any reason in a geographical area might feel stress; people who think the same as everyone else in a geographical area may feel comforted. Old people are grumpy, especially with family and friends because being old is something new because everything doesn’t work the way it used to and everyone around them doesn’t seem to give a shit.
Conclusion: If you want a bigger brain, be a Democrat in a large city where only Democrats live and never grow old so your brain will not shrink.
Thank you science for this illuminating article.