Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Earthquakes and Religion

I got a note today from a very religious person, troubled by visions of catastrophic earthquakes in Toronto, and volcanoes in northern Ontario. I've been lucky as a geologist, in that I can feel for this person.

It all starts with modules in the brain. Evolution never abandons anything that is useful, it merely adds new layers. I've been reading the latest module they've uncovered processes simple numbers, and is activated immediately in babies. It may be a very ancient animal module. The brain uses all these modules for distributed processing, which is why we can walk and chew gum at the same time.

They have also made great progress in working out the 'religious' module. Certain chemicals can activate it, and it lights up in brain scans. In fact, they have had some success in using Ecstasy to review severe traumatic episodes, and so, 'calm' them down, to turn down anxiety. This module is the next best thing to alcohol to help people get through the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

As an intellectual depressive, I have always had problems in getting my brain to calm down. As a geologist I have had the religious module activated when I have come across great geological works, such as faults, cliffs, mountains. I even felt it when I touched an ancient Inca stone wall. I have read most of the Bible, as bedtime reading to attempt to calm down.

This module suppresses the rational, anxious, depressive layer, and is a sort of suicidal, submission to a greater power. I can see it would have been of great use to pack wolves, to live with submission to the pack leader. They will probably find that this module is very ancient.

However, I always recoil from things that appear to be addictive, such as Youtube videos, computer games, fine wines, drugs, etc. I usually try for a while, and say: "Shit, this could be addictive!!". Then I leave it. Many people don't.

So, although I feel for the deeply religious, I can have no communication with them, since they have abandoned the nastier, depressive, questing, rational layer of the brain. They accept the articles of faith, laid down by a greater power. They are nice people, but we should never let them run anything! True separation of Church and State. I think 'Dubya' taught us that!


Silver Fox said...

Interesting way of looking at things, brain modules and all. I feel *inspired* to click an add!

Harold Asmis said...