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  Topic: 'Theory of mind' could help explain belief in God< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2009,19:10   

[quote=Richardthughes,Mar. 10 2009,19:04]http://www.newscientist.com/article....ne-news

Quote
Once we had evolved the necessary brain architecture, we could "do" religion, brain scans indicate.

The research shows that, to interpret a god's intentions and feelings, we rely mainly on the same recently evolved brain regions that divine the feelings and intentions of other people.

This is a very important area of research.

The evolutionary basis of this sort of cognition is very deep. In my opinion human theory of mind has an evolutionary foundation, a foundation that is key to the representation of other persons and oneself as agents possessing beliefs, desires, and intentions. Elements of the ability to represent others' behavior in terms of agency is present in chimpanzees and other primates as, for example, they display an apparently innate capacity for gaze-following, an understanding of what conspecifics know based upon knowledge of what they have seen, and so on.

It is this representation of agency that enables a great deal of cooperative activity, and that is ultimately projected as unseen beings. The very "structure of angels" is that of disembodied agents.

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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
  4 replies since Mar. 10 2009,18:04 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

    


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