Atheism and the brain

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The human brain is the most complex physical entity in the universe.[1][2][3]

Brain researchers and social scientists have conducted a number of studies focusing on the differences between atheists and the religious.

Below are some studies and other information related to atheism and the brain. See also: Atheism and intelligence

Contents

Study involving magnetism, brain function and the posterior medial frontal cortex

Satirical graphic used by the Freedom From Atheism Foundation (FFAF). The FFAF shared Dr. Joel McDurmon's article entitled Atheists embarrassed: study proves atheism uses less brain function with their supporters.[4]

See also: Atheism and logic and Atheism and logical fallacies and Atheism and reason and Atheism and irrationality

Dr. Joel McDurmon at the organization American Vision wrote about a University of York study involving magnetism and brain function:

This has to be embarrassing . . . if you’re an atheist. A new study performed at the University of York used targeted magnetism to shut down part of the brain. The result: belief in God disappeared among more than 30 percent of participants.

That in itself may not seem so embarrassing, but consider that the specific part of the brain they frazzled was the posterior medial frontal cortex—the part associated with detecting and solving problems, i.e., reasoning and logic.

In other words, when you shut down the part of the brain most associated with logic and reasoning, greater levels of atheism result.[5]

(To read about some of the functions of the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC), please read the article: Posterior medial frontal cortex)

Religious individuals and thicker cerebral cortices

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association - Psychiatry, people who place a high importance of religion in their lives have thicker cerebral cortices and may be better able to fight depression.[6][7] See: Atheism and depression and Atheism and suicide

Thicker cerebral cortices in individuals is positively associated with higher intelligence.[8]

Regular prayer/meditation and larger frontal lobes

See also: Religiosity and larger frontal lobes and Atheism and emotional/intrapersonal intelligence and Atheism and irrationality and Homosexuality and frontal lobe injury

Graphic of cerebral lobes. Light brown section of the graphic depicts the area of the frontal lobe. (Click on graphic to enlarge)

According to Scientific American:

Several studies have revealed that people who practice meditation or have prayed for many years exhibit increased activity and have more brain tissue in their frontal lobes, regions associated with attention and reward, as compared with people who do not meditate or pray.[9]

Reluctance of Western atheists to engage in meditation

Atheist Greta Christina wrote at the website Humananist.com:

A lot of atheists, humanists, and other nonbelievers are leery or dismissive of meditation and mindfulness. Some see it as an irretrievably religious or spiritual practice, and want no part in it. Others are put off by the faddish, overused, buzzword quality of the practice and the terminology. And I can understand that. For years, I stayed away from trying this stuff out, for exactly those reasons. I was interested in the practice—I had friends who did it, and who seemed to get a lot out of it. But I couldn’t find anyplace to learn that didn’t base their teaching on Buddhism or some other religion. And I’m too ardent an anti-religionist to “take what you need and leave the rest,” the way many nonbelievers do with religion. After all, I literally wrote the book on angry atheism. For me, trying to learn meditation in a Buddhist center would be like trying to learn meditation in a room full of fingernails scraping on blackboards.[10]

Although many atheists in the Western World are reluctant to meditate, in the East nontheist Buddhists often practice meditation.[11]

Atheist Greta Christina wrote: "A lot of atheists, humanists, and other nonbelievers are leery or dismissive of meditation and mindfulness."[12]

Functions of the frontal lobe

Healthline.com declares about the frontal lobe:

The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behavior. It is, in essence, the “control panel” of our personality and our ability to communicate.

It is also responsible for primary motor function, or our ability to consciously move our muscles, and the two key areas related to speech, including Broca’s area.

The frontal lobe is larger and more developed in humans than in any other organism.[13]

The Centre for Neuro Skills says about the frontal lobes and their function:

The frontal lobes are considered our emotional control center and home to our personality. There is no other part of the brain where lesions can cause such a wide variety of symptoms (Kolb & Wishaw, 1990). The frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior. The frontal lobes are extremely vulnerable to injury due to their location at the front of the cranium, proximity to the sphenoid wing and their large size. MRI studies have shown that the frontal area is the most common region of injury following mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (Levin et al., 1987).

There are important asymmetrical differences in the frontal lobes. The left frontal lobe is involved in controlling language related movement, whereas the right frontal lobe plays a role in non-verbal abilities. Some researchers emphasize that this rule is not absolute and that with many people, both lobes are involved in nearly all behavior.[14]

Religious, frontal lobes and sexuality

See also: Atheism and sexuality

The role of the front lobes in sexuality

Research indicates that religious women (especially evangelical/low church Protestant women) are more sexually satisfied than irreligious women.[15]

As noted above, the frontal lobe plays a role in controlling sexual behavior.[16]

According to the 2007 medical journal article (and its abstract) entitled Neurological control of human sexual behaviour: insights from lesion studies which was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry:

We review the human literature examining the effects of neurological insult on human sexual behaviour. We provide a synthesis of the findings to date, and identify key brain regions associated with specific aspects of human sexual behaviour. These include subcortical and cortical regions, with the mesial temporal lobe and the amygdala in particular being a crucial structure in the mediation of human sexual drive...

Disinhibited sexual behaviour has been reported following damage to the frontal lobes, particularly the orbitofrontal region of the limbic system...

Kolarsky and colleagues54 examined the relationships between “sexual deviation”, age of lesion onset and localisation of lesion (temporal vs extratemporal). The authors defined two diagnostic categories: (1) “sexual deviation”, involving a deviation of sexual object (for example, paedophilia). Homosexuality was included in this category, which would now be considered inappropriate, and (2) “sexual disturbances other than deviations”, including orgasm in response to stimuli unrelated to the subject's sexual preference, hypersexuality and hyposexuality...

An association between temporal lobe abnormalities and paedophilia has been reported by Mendez and colleagues.[17]

Denmark is the third most atheistic country in the world and the website adherents.com reports that 43 - 80% of Danes are agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[18]

In 2009, Suzanne Ost reported in her book published by Cambridge University Press, that the child pornography material produced in Denmark (and Holland) still constituted the largest part of child pornography that was currently available, having been transferred into digital format and uploaded onto the internet.[19]

See also:

Human sexuality and religion/irreligion

Research indicates that religious women (especially evangelical/low church Protestant women) are more sexually satisfied than irreligious women.[20][21][22] See also: Atheism and women

In 2011, The Daily Beast conceded in an article entitled Why Are Christians Having Better Sex Than the Rest of Us?, "The devout are actually having better sex than the rest of us."[23]

In the United States, the Republican Party has a large segment of religious conservatives and they are influential within the party.[24] ABC News reported that "More Republicans Satisfied With Sex Lives Than Democrats".[25]

Demographic data indicates that atheists have a sub-replacement level of fertility and religious conservatives have high fertility rates (Sub-replacement fertility of atheist populations. High fertility rate of religious conservatives).

On December 23, 2012, Professor Eric Kaufmann who teaches at Birbeck College, University of London wrote:

I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious.

On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population... In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British. [26]

Michael Blume, a researcher at the University of Jena in Germany, wrote "Most societies or communities that have espoused atheistic beliefs have not survived more than a century."[27] Blume also indicated concerning concerning his research on this matter: "What I found was the complete lack of a single case of a secular population, community or movement that would just manage to retain replacement level."[28] See also: Global atheism

Eric Kaufmann has pointed out that the biblical verse to "go forth and multiply" and similar passages of Scripture has contributed to a higher fertility rate for conservative Christians and Orthodox Jews.[29][30][31]

Atheism and intelligence

See also: Atheism and intelligence and Atheism and Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences and Causes of atheism

Within various countries, standardized intelligence test (IQ) scores related to the issue of atheists/agnostics vs. theists intelligence scores yield conflicting results.[32] Part of the problem is that social scientists use variant definitions of atheism.[33] See also: Atheism, intelligence and the General Social Survey

However, within individuals, families and societies irreligion/religion can have an effect on intelligence - especially over time (See: Atheism and intelligence).

For more information, please see:

Study on emotional intelligence and religiosity

See also: Atheism and emotional intelligence and Atheism and social intelligence

A 2004 study by Ellen Paek examined the extent to which religious orientation/behavior and found significant positive correlations were found between level of religious commitment and an individual's perceived emotional intelligence.[34] See also: Atheism and emotional intelligence

According to the prominent brain researcher Antonio Damasio and other brain researchers, emotions play a critical role in high-level cognition and allow individuals to make better decisions.[35]

Studies on the correlation between atheism and high-functioning autism

Autism affects the amygdala, cerebellum, and multiple other parts of the brain.

See also: Atheism and autism and Atheism and social/interpersonal intelligence and Atheism and loneliness

In 2011, the University of Boston published a study on the correlation between atheism and high-functioning/mild autism.[36][37]

On September 19, 2011, the Discover Magazine website had an article indicating that there were empirical results showing a positive correlation between atheism and high functioning autism and the article declared:

This is why the empirical results on the correlation between atheism and high functioning autism are important...

...some people were angry that I seemed to suggest that atheists were antisocial weirdos. Well, there is some data to back that up.[38]

Atheist science writer Matthew Hutson on atheism and autism studies

On May 30, 2012, Matthew Hutson wrote at Psychology Today website that the findings of the study at Boston University entitled Religious Belief Systems of Persons with High Functioning Autism have been replicated by other studies.[39] [40]

The autism-spectrum quotient is a questionnaire published by Simon Baron-Cohen and his coworkers at the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, UK. The questionnaire consists of fifty questions and aims to determine whether adults of average intelligence have symptoms of autism or one of the other autism spectrum conditions.[41]

Hutson also wrote about atheism and autism:

Ara Norenzayan and Will Gervais of the University of British Columbia and Kali Trzesniewski of UC Davis report on four studies. The first study replicates the finding of the BU research: 12 autistic and 13 neurotypical adolescents took part, and the neurotypical subjects were 10 times as likely to strongly endorse God.

The other three studies went further. They included hundreds of participants from a variety of demographics in the U.S. and Canada and used various measures of belief in God and of mentalizing abilities. The results of all three followed the same pattern.

First, people with higher scores on the Autism Spectrum Quotient (items included "I am fascinated by numbers," and "I find social situations [difficult]") had weaker belief in a personal God. Second, reduced ability to mentalize mediated this correlation. (Mentalizing was measured with the Empathy Quotient, which assesses self-reported ability to recognize and react to others' emotions, and with a task that requires identifying what's being expressed in pictures of eyes. Systematizing -- interest in and aptitude for mechanical and abstract systems -- was correlated with autism but was not a mediator.) Third, men were much less likely than women to say they strongly believed in a personal God (even controlling for autism), and this correlation was also mediated by reduced mentalizing.[42]

Atheist PZ Myers' blog audience and their reported Asperger's quotient test results

Vox Day has written about atheists being "socially autistic".[43][44][45]

Asperger's syndrome (sometimes referred to as "High-Functioning Autism" or "HFA") is an umbrella term used to classify problematic behaviours similar to, but less severe than, those within the lower reaches of the autistic spectrum.

Day wrote concerning atheist PZ Myers' blog audience:

It's by no means a scientific test, but it is interesting to note the coincidence that 59 of the virulent atheists over at Dr. PZ Myers place report an average score on the Asperger's Quotient test of 27.8. And this does not include the two individuals who actually have Asperger's but did not report any test results."

As PZ himself said: "I took the test and scored a 24, an “average math contest winner.” You need a 32 to suggest Asperger’s, and a 15 is the average. So there. I don’t have Asperger’s, I’m just cruel and insensitive."[46]

Below is some information that Aspergerstest.com gives concerning interpreting their Asperger's quiz results:

Basically the range for possible answers is 0 to 50. The information below shows you the different ranges as recorded from others sitting this same AQ quiz over the years.

0-11 low result – indicating no tendency at all towards autistic traits.

11-21 is the average result that people get (many women average around 15 and men around 17)

22-25 shows autistic tendencies slightly above the population average

26-31 gives a borderline indication of an autism spectrum disorder. It is also possible to have aspergers or mild autism within this range.

32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism.

In fact, scores of 32 or above are one of strong indicators of having as ASD.[47]

However, there is evidence which suggests that a large portion of PZ Myers' blog audience are narcissists rather than individuals who have Asperger's Syndrome (see: PZ Myers' antitheist blog audience and the issue of narcissism vs. Asperger's Syndrome).

Causes of autism related to factors which exist in secular societies in the developed world

Although there have been no formal epidemiological studies, the evidence suggests that autism is rare in the economically developing continent of Africa and mainly exists within elite families.[48][49] Africa is a religious continent with high birth rates and low rates of obesity.[50]

Watoto Children's Choir from Kampala, Uganda featured in the picture above. In recent years, Christianity has seen a rapid growth in Africa.[51]

In 2011, Jonathan Rabinovitz published in Scope, a publication of Stanford Medicine: "Autism has sometimes been described as a disease of industrialized high-technology societies."[52] For example, evidence suggests that environmental toxins are a causal factor of autism.[53] See also: Causes of Autism - Mayo Clinic.

In 2013, the Washington Times said about the causes of autism: "The causes of autism are not understood, and recent studies have found associations between childhood autism and multiple births, preterm births, low birthweights, maternal obesity, having a full sibling with autism and having older parents."[54]

Case Adams, N.D. declared:

Recent research from the University of California at Davis has found autism to be linked with the accumulation of toxins within fat cells. This finding corresponds with previous research linking autism to immunosuppression, toxin antibodies and environmental exposures for the mother, which links to toxicity and immunosuppression.

The new research, led by Paula Krakowiak, PhD candidate, analyzed 1,000 children and found that autism was 67% more likely among children from obese mothers.[55]

Many atheists are overweight/obese (See: Atheism, autism and obesity and Atheism and obesity).

Professor Eric Kaufmann in his book Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth and in some of the his other works points out the religious have higher fertility rates then secular women and that secular women often delay having children until they are older.[56]

Atheism, autism, alcoholism, illegal drug use, depression and other factors

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe, "The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.[57]

Secular societies and many atheists have significant problems with alcoholism (See: Atheism and alcoholism). The link between alcoholism and autism needs to be explored further based various pieces of existing data.[58][59][60] A significant number of atheists have problems with illegal drug use as well (see: Atheism and drug addiction). Cocaine use by expecting mothers may be a cause of autism according to the medical literature.[61]

Atheists have higher rates of depression and suicide than theists (see: Atheism and depression and Atheism and suicide). The use of antidepressants by mothers during pregnancy increases the risk of autism spectrum disorders in children, according to a Swedish study.[62] Secular societies and atheists tend to experience loneliness more also (see: Atheism and loneliness).

Air pollution is thought to be a potential cause of autism as far as expecting mothers and in the Western World atheists tend to live in urban environments rather than rural environments.[63] According to Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, "It’s still lonely being an atheist in rural America."[64] On the other hand, in some areas of the Western World, religious immigrants often live in urban areas.[65]

Autism appears to be rare in religious Africa

Although there have been no formal epidemiological studies, the evidence suggests that autism is rare in the economically developing continent of Africa and mainly exists within elite families.[66][67] In addition, the traditional African diet is healthier than many Western World individuals' diets and Africa has some of the lowest obesity rates in the world.[68] See: Atheism and obesity. Furthermore, Africa is a religious continent with high birth rates.[69]

Low rate of autism among the religious American Amish

An Amish farm near Morristown, New York. Due to their high levels of physical activity, the Amish have low rates of obesity.[70]

See also: Amish

The American Amish have a low autism rate which may be due to their healthy and simple lifestyle, their genetic makeup or both.[71] Due to their high levels of physical activity, the Amish have low rates of obesity.[72] Many atheists do not live a wholesome life (see: Atheism and alcoholism and Atheism and drug addiction and Atheism and health and Moral failures of the atheist population).

David N. Brown indicated: "In March 2006, Drs. Kevin Strauss, Holmes Morton and others documented 9 autistic Amish children, which could raise the autism rate of the Lancaster Amish community Olmsted supposedly investigated to almost 1/5,000 which is still a fraction of the US average of 1/68."[73][74][75]

The Amish have high a fertility rate and in 2012 the Amish were named the fastest growing faith group in the United States. The Amish population is projected to grow to 1 million people by 2050.[76]

Autism and some data from secular Europe, atheistic China and religious countries

See: Autism and some data from secular Europe, atheistic China and religious countries

Atheism and autism correlations: Accusations of press insensitivity in Turkey

The notion that autism causes atheism has not been proved and criticisms of press insensitivity towards the issue have been leveled.[77]

Science journal and science magazine quotes about atheism and mental processes

See also: Denials that atheists exist and Atheism and purpose and Atheism quotes

“A slew of cognitive traits predisposes us to faith.” - Pascal Boyer, in the British science journal Nature[78]

“Atheism is psychologically impossible because of the way humans think... They point to studies showing, for example, that even people who claim to be committed atheists tacitly hold religious beliefs, such as the existence of an immortal soul.” - Graham Lawton in the New Scientist science magazine [78]

Brain study: Religious belief vs. non-belief - Anxiety/stress reduction

See also: Atheism and cowardice

Richard Dawkins
The Oxford University Professor Daniel Came wrote to the New Atheist Richard Dawkins:: "The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[79]

According to the leading science news website Phys.org:

Believing in God can help block anxiety and minimize stress, according to new University of Toronto research that shows distinct brain differences between believers and non-believers.

In two studies led by Assistant Psychology Professor Michael Inzlicht, participants performed a Stroop task - a well-known test of cognitive control - while hooked up to electrodes that measured their brain activity.

Compared to non-believers, the religious participants showed significantly less activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a portion of the brain that helps modify behavior by signaling when attention and control are needed, usually as a result of some anxiety-producing event like making a mistake. The stronger their religious zeal and the more they believed in God, the less their ACC fired in response to their own errors, and the fewer errors they made...

Their findings show religious belief has a calming effect on its devotees, which makes them less likely to feel anxious about making errors or facing the unknown.[80]

According to a study performed in the United States by researchers Wink and Scott, very religious people fear death the least.[81] See also: Atheism and death

In addition, in recent years there have been a number of notable instances atheists being reluctant to debate various debate topics related to atheism vs. theism (see: Atheism and cowardice and Atheism debates).

Militant atheism and intelligence

See also: Atheism and anger and Atheism and intolerance and Atheism and bitterness

The atheist philosopher Dr. Michael Ruse declared concerning Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion: "The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist."[82]

Research indicates that anger takes resources away from the executive decision making of the prefrontal cortex part of the brain.[83]

Social science research indicates that antitheists score the highest among atheists when it comes to personality traits such as narcissism, dogmatism, and anger.[84][85] Furthermore, they scored lowest when it comes to agreeableness and positive relations with others.[86]

The foolish nature of atheists and their irrational anger and bouts of rage towards God and/or Christians often causes militant atheists to behave irrationally (See: Militant atheism and Atheism and hatred of God).[87] For example, the militant Soviet atheists who aggressively attempted their atheistic communist ideology around the world had their empire collapse due to their corrupt atheist leaders implementing many foolish economic policies. Furthermore, the historical data indicates that large sectors of the Soviet Union's populace failed to adopt atheism in significant numbers despite great efforts to try to make this occur.[88]

New Atheism

New Atheism, a recent form of militant atheism, has a reputation for shallow arguments. A frequent occurrence is that the works of new atheists often betray an amateurish knowledge of philosophy/religion.[89][90] For example, atheist philosopher Dr. Michael Ruse declared concerning new atheist Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion: "The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist."[91]

Dr. William Lane Craig is one of Christianity's leading defenders and many individuals over the years have attempted to arrange a debate between Dr. Craig and new atheist Richard Dawkins. Richard Dawkins has offered various ruses on why he will not debate William Lane Craig, which Dr. Craig supporters have shown were inconsistent and merely a dodge to avoid debating one of Christianity's strongest advocates.[92][93]

On May 14, 2011, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph published a news story entitled Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God.[94] In The Daily Telegraph article Dr. Daniel Came, a member of the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University was quoted as writing to fellow atheist Richard Dawkins concerning his refusal to debate Dr. William Lane Craig, "The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[95]

In October of 2011, Dr. Craig went to England and the Daily Telegraph declared that Dawkins is either a fool or a coward for his refusal to debate William Lane Craig plus declared that Dawkins is a "proud man" and a "coward" who puts on an "illiterate, angry schtick" for the public.[96] See: Atheism and cowardice

Errors in the works of New Atheists

Vox Day's book The Irrational atheist found multiple errors in reasoning and factual errors when it came to the works of New Atheist authors.[97] See also: Atheism and irrationality and Richard Dawkins and pseudoscience

Secular European economic stagnation and falling intelligence

In Britain, which is a country less religious than many countries, phenotypic intelligence is now declining.[98][99] See: Intelligence trends in secular countries

See also: Intelligence trends in religious countries and secular countries and Atheism and economics

Factors such as greater wealth with its attendant better quality of education/health/nutrition help increase IQ scores.[100][101][102]

The Eurozone crisis is an ongoing economic crisis which has been negatively affecting Eurozone countries since late 2009. It consists of a sovereign debt crisis, a banking crisis and an economic growth and competitiveness crisis. In addition, many European countries have low economic growth and excess regulation.[103][104]

As alluded to above, many secular countries which are a part of the developed world have seen falling rates of intelligence (see: Intelligence trends in religious countries and secular countries).

Biblical Christianity and economic development

In terms of economic development, biblical Christianity has historically had a positive affect on countries.[105]

Harvard University historian Niall Ferguson declared: "Through a mixture of hard work and thrift the Protestant societies of the North and West Atlantic achieved the most rapid economic growth in history." (See: Protestant work ethic and capitalism).[106]

China has the world's largest atheist population.[107][108][109] However, in the latter part of the 20th century and throughout the 21st century, China has seen a rapid growth of biblical Christianity within their nation, increased economic development and a leap in intelligence scores.[110][111] See also: Growth of Christianity in China

Atheism, alcoholism and brain impairment

Atheists and atheistic cultures often have significant problems with excess alcohol usage (See: Atheism and alcoholism).

Alcoholism causes cognitive impairment.[112]

A 2012 study suggests that a habit of binge drink risks serious brain damage including increasing memory loss later in adulthood.[113][114]

Secular Europe and alcoholism

See also: Secular Europe and alcoholism

In 2013, it was reported that 36,500 French men die each year from alcohol-related illnesses, around 13 percent of the overall male mortality rate.[115]

As noted above, secular Europe is more secular than most of the rest of the world although it does have a considerable amount of religious immigrants who have higher birth rates.

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe:

The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.

A country’s total per capita alcohol consumption is closely related to its prevalence of alcohol-related harm and alcohol dependence. This high level of harm hides enormous alcohol-related health inequalities between eastern and western Europe, particularly for injury deaths.

Both the volume of lifetime alcohol use and a combination of frequency of drinking and amount drunk per occasion increase the risk of health and social harm, largely in a dose-dependent manner.

The risk of death from a chronic alcohol-related condition is found to increase linearly from zero consumption in a dose–response manner with the volume of alcohol consumed.

At a societal level, the European Union is the heaviest-drinking region in the world, with over one fifth of the European population aged 15 years and above reporting heavy episodic drinking (five or more drinks on an occasion, or 60g alcohol) at least once a week. Heavy episodic drinking is widespread across all ages and all of Europe, and not only among young people or those from northern Europe.[116]

Atheism, naturalism and reason

See also: Atheism and reason and Atheism and irrationality and Atheism and logic

If naturalism is true, then we ought not to trust our capacity for reason for the human brain would be a byproduct of blind/unintelligent natural forces. [117] Therefore, believing in naturalism is self-defeating.

In short, atheism/naturalism and reason are incompatible.[118]

See also: Intelligent design and Evolution

See also

Notes

  1. The Human Body: God's Masterpiece
  2. The Enigmatic Human Brain by Wallace G. Smith
  3. The Most Complex Structure, Creation Moments
  4. Atheists embarrassed: study proves atheism uses less brain function
  5. Atheists embarrassed: study proves atheism uses less brain function
  6. Study reveals what religion and spirituality may be doing for the brain
  7. Neuroanatomical Correlates of Religiosity and SpiritualityA Study in Adults at High and Low Familial Risk for Depression, JAMA Psychiatry
  8. Relationships between IQ and Regional Cortical Gray Matter Thickness in Healthy Adults, Oxford Journals
  9. Ask the Brains, Scientific American, Dec 23, 2011
  10. Mind is Matter, Greta Christina, The Humanist.com
  11. Christians Talk about Buddhist Meditation, Buddhists Talk About Christian Prayer, edited by Rita M. Gross, Terry C. Muck, page 89
  12. Mind is Matter, Greta Christina, The Humanist.com
  13. Frontal lobe, Healthline.com
  14. Frontal lobes, The Centre for Neuro Skills
  15. Frontal lobe, Healthline.com
  16. Neurological control of human sexual behaviour: insights from lesion studies,J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2007 Oct; 78(10): 1042–1049.
  17. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  18. Child Pornography and Sexual Grooming: Legal and Societal Responses by Suzanne Ost, Cambridge University Press, page 29, 2009
  19. The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States By Edward O. Laumann, John H. Gagnon, Robert T. Michael, Stuart Michaels, page 115
  20. Why Are Christians Having Better Sex Than the Rest of Us? by Tucker Carlson, The Daily Beast, November 11, 25, 2008
  21. Christian Women Have More Sexual Fun, Relationship Center in Springfield Missouri
  22. Why Are Christians Having Better Sex Than the Rest of Us? by Tucker Carlson, The Daily Beast, November 11, 25, 2008
  23. How Many Highly Religious Conservative Republicans Are There?, Gallup Organization statistics
  24. More Republicans Satisfied With Sex Lives Than Democrats, ABC News
  25. 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  26. Atheist: A dying breed as nature favours faithful
  27. Atheist: A dying breed as nature favours faithful
  28. Think religion is in decline? Look at who is ‘going forth and multiplying’, Vancouver Sun
  29. ‘Go Forth and Multiply’: the Politics of Religious Demography by Eric Kaufmann
  30. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century'
  31. Multiple references:
  32. Journal of Organizational Behavior, Paek, Ellen (2006). "Religiosity and perceived emotional intelligence among Christians". Personality and Individual Differences (International Society for the Study of Individual Differences) 41 (3): 479–490
  33. Religious Belief Systems of Persons with High Functioning Autism, Catherine Caldwell-Harris, Caitlin Fox Murphy and Tessa Velazquez at the Department of Psychology - Boston University); Patrick McNamara (Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine)
  34. Is atheism linked to autism? Controversial study points to relationship between the two, Daily Mail, 20 September 2011
  35. What atheism and autism may have in common By Razib Khan, September 19, 2011]
  36. Does Autism Lead to Atheism?, Psychology Today, May 30, 2012 by Matthew Hutson]
  37. Does Autism Lead to Atheism?, Psychology Today, May 30, 2012 by Matthew Hutson]
  38. Woodbury-Smith MR, Robinson J, Wheelwright S, Baron-Cohen S (2005). "Screening adults for Asperger Syndrome using the AQ: a preliminary study of its diagnostic validity in clinical practice" (PDF). J Autism Dev Disord 35 (3): 331–5.
  39. Are People With Autism More Likely to Be Atheists? by Matthew Hutson, Huffington Post
  40. The socially autistic atheist by Vox Day, August 02, 2007
  41. A lesson in atheist social autism by Vox Day, August 13, 2014
  42. Atheists and Daddy issues by Vox Day, August 23, 2012
  43. PZ admits he's wrong by Theodore Beale, Friday, August 29, 2014
  44. Interpreting Asperger's Test Results
  45. Autism in Africa?, Jonathan Rabinovitz published in Scope, a publication of Stanford Medicine, 2011
  46. Out of Africa and Into Autism: More Evidence Illuminates the Somali Anomaly in Minnesota, By Mark F. Blaxill, AgeofAutism.com website (I don't agree with the anti-vaccine portion of the article)
  47. The African apostles: How Christianity exploded in 20th-century Africa
  48. Autism in Africa?, Jonathan Rabinovitz published in Scope, a publication of Stanford Medicine, 2011
  49. Autism and Toxic Chemicals: Are Pollutants Fueling Rising Prevalence?
  50. Autism rates rise in U.S., plateau in U.K.
  51. Autism Linked to Toxin Exposure During Pregnancy
  52. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth, Eric Kaufmann, 2011, page 280, footnote 13[1]
  53. World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe- Alcohol usage of Europe
  54. Pharmacol Res. 2015 Sep 25;102:71-80. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2015.09.011. Epigenetic mechanisms: A possible link between autism spectrum disorders and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Varadinova M1, Boyadjieva N2.
  55. Alcohol and Autism, AlcoholRehab.com
  56. Int J Epidemiol. 2010 Aug;39(4):1074-81. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyq056. Epub 2010 Apr 5. Prenatal alcohol exposure and autistic spectrum disorders--a population-based prospective study of 80,552 children and their mothers. Eliasen M1, Tolstrup JS, Nybo Andersen AM, Grønbaek M, Olsen J, Strandberg-Larsen K.
  57. Reprod Toxicol. 2015 Aug 15;56:155-69. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2015.05.007. Epub 2015 May 27. Prenatal factors associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Ornoy A1, Weinstein-Fudim L2, Ergaz Z3.
  58. Study: Autism Linked to Antidepressant Drug Use During Pregnancy
  59. Reprod Toxicol. 2015 Aug 15;56:155-69. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2015.05.007. Epub 2015 May 27. Prenatal factors associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Ornoy A1, Weinstein-Fudim L2, Ergaz Z3.
  60. [http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/24/atheists-in-the-bible-belt-a-survival-guide/ Atheists in the Bible Belt, CNN
  61. Counting Immigrants in Cities across the Globe
  62. Autism in Africa?, Jonathan Rabinovitz published in Scope, a publication of Stanford Medicine, 2011
  63. Out of Africa and Into Autism: More Evidence Illuminates the Somali Anomaly in Minnesota, By Mark F. Blaxill, AgeofAutism.com website (I don't agree with the anti-vaccine portion of the article)
  64. Christianity/Islam and Africa
    • 4 healthy habits to steal from the Amish, Fox News Health, December 04, 2014
    • "Amish Have Lower Rates of Cancer, Ohio State Study Shows". Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Medical Center. January 1, 2010. Retrieved January 6, 2010.
    • Puffenberger, EG; Jinks, RN; Wang, H; Xin, B; Fiorentini, C; Sherman, EA; Degrazio, D; Shaw, C; Sougnez, C; Cibulskis, K; Gabriel, S; Kelley, RI; Morton, DH; Strauss, KA (Dec 2012). "A homozygous missense mutation in HERC2 associated with global developmental delay and autism spectrum disorder". Human Mutation 33 (12): 1639–1646
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    • Alarcón, Maricela; Abrahams, Brett S.; Stone, Jennifer L.; Duvall, Jacqueline A.; Perederiy, Julia V.; Bomar, Jamee M.; Sebat, Jonathan; Wigler, Michael; Martin, Christa L.; Ledbetter, David H.; Nelson, Stanley F.; Cantor, Rita M.; Geschwind, Daniel H. (10 January 2008). "Linkage, Association, and Gene-Expression Analyses Identify CNTNAP2 as an Autism-Susceptibility Gene". American Journal of Human Genetics 82 (1): 150–159
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  66. Jackman, C; Horn, ND; Molleston, JP; Sokol, DK (Apr 2009). "Gene associated with seizures, autism, and hepatomegaly in an Amish girl". Pediatric Neurology 40 (4): 310–313.
  67. Alarcón, Maricela; Abrahams, Brett S.; Stone, Jennifer L.; Duvall, Jacqueline A.; Perederiy, Julia V.; Bomar, Jamee M.; Sebat, Jonathan; Wigler, Michael; Martin, Christa L.; Ledbetter, David H.; Nelson, Stanley F.; Cantor, Rita M.; Geschwind, Daniel H. (10 January 2008). "Linkage, Association, and Gene-Expression Analyses Identify CNTNAP2 as an Autism-Susceptibility Gene". American Journal of Human Genetics 82 (1): 150–159
  68. For Amish, fastest-growing faith group in US, life is changing
  69. Likening of autistic kids to atheists causes fury, ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News, April/22/2013
  70. 78.0 78.1 Unruh, Bob (July 19, 2014). "Scientists: atheists might not exist". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved on February 21, 2015.
  71. Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, The Daily Telegraph, May 14, 2011
  72. Researchers find brain differences between believers and non-believers, Phys.org, March 4, 2009
  73. Fear of death: worst if you’re a little religious?, World of Science]
  74. http://www.alternet.org/media/47052?page=entire
  75. Where did my IQ points go?
  76. Science Shows New Atheists to be Mean and Closed-Minded
  77. Why Sam Harris is Unlikely to Change his Mind by JONATHAN HAIDT, February 3, 2014 8:36 pm
  78. Science Shows New Atheists to be Mean and Closed-Minded
  79. Irrational Atheists
  80. Forced Secularization in Soviet Russia: Why an Atheistic Monopoly Failed
  81. The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy of Religion edited by Graham Oppy, Chapter 4, New Atheist Approaches to Religion by Trent Dougherty and Logan Paul Cage, page 52, see: Google books excerpt
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  84. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlnVe934u38&feature=related
  85. William Lane Craig is avoided by Richard Dawkins
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  87. Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, The Daily Telegraph, May 14, 2011
  88. Richard Dawkins is either a fool or a coward for refusing to debate William Lane Craig - October 21, 2011 - The Daily Telegraph
  89. Excellent refutation of ‘new atheists’ flawed by heterodox open theism, A review of The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens by Vox Day, Benbella Books, Dallas, TX, 2008, reviewed by Lita Cosner
  90. The Rise and Fall of the World's IQ by Thomas Hally
  91. What’s the Most Godless Place on Earth? by Hemant Mehta, May 14, 2012
  92. Received wisdom: Average IQ is falling in Britain and beyond, explains Philip Hunter by Philip Hunt, March 21, 2012, Published in April 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
  93. IQ and the Wealth of Nations
  94. Food for thought – diet does boost your intelligence By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent, The Telegraph, 2001
  95. Europe's crisis of confidence
  96. The euro area's uninspiring recovery, The Economist, 2015
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  98. The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China By Hugh Whelchel on September 24, 2012
  99. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  100. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  101. Cracks in the atheist edifice, The Economist, November 1, 2014
  102. Are human beings becoming smarter, BBC, March 2, 2015
  103. Cognitive impairment in alcoholism by Ilia Theotoka, Annals of General Psychiatry
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  105. http://www.scripps.edu/newsandviews/e_20121022/koob.html
  106. Alcohol report lays bare France's drink problem, The Local, Published: 04 Mar 2013 18:30 GMT+01:00
  107. World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe- Alcohol usage of Europe