Have you ever found yourself listening to your “Born Again” friend tell you about how the Earth is only 5000 years old and how Jesus really rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday via Stegosaurus (despite what those godless lying scientists tell you) thinking that this person has to have been born with a deficient brain or grew up on a steady diet of lead paint chips opr something???
Well it turns out that if you did you were not being mean…
You were being scientifically accurate…
A study conducted by the Duke University Medical Center found that the brains of Evangelicals are smaller than the brains of their more conventional Protestant brethren.
The study found similar results in the brains of the Catholics and in the brains of the heathen non-believers.
Conducted between the years 1994-2005, the study (which included no less than two MRI measurements through the course of the study) studied the brains of some 268 adults aged 58 years old and older, in particular noting the measurement of the hippocampus.
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.
The hippocampus is an area buried deep in the brain that helps regulate emotion and memory. Atrophy or shrinkage in this region of the brain has long been linked to mental health problems such as depression, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
So why would born-again Protestants, Catholics and those with no religious affiliation have a smaller hippocampus?
Researchers speculate it may have something to do with the stress of belonging to a minority group. Chronic stress floods the brain with hormones that, over time, may damage the hippocampus.
Why this may be of importance…