Prof Dawkins (who subscribes to evolution to explain human development) thinks there could be an evolutionary advantage, not to believing in god, but to having a brain with the capacity to believe in god. That such faith exists is a by-product of enhanced intelligence. Prof Ramachandran denies that finding out how the brain reacts to religion negates the value of belief. He feels that brain circuitry like that Persinger and Newberg have identified, could amount to an antenna to make us receptive to god. Bishop Sykes meanwhile, thinks religion has nothing to fear from this neuroscience. Science is about seeking to explain the world around us. For him at least, it can co-exist with faith.
From website of BBC Two Horizon Program aired, Thursday 17 April 2003, 9pm http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2003/godonbrain.shtml accessed Dec 5th 2008 8:47am
* Prof Vilayanur Ramachandran, University of California, San Diego, USA
* Prof Gregory Holmes, Dartmouth Medical School, USA working with Buddist Michael Blaime
* Dr Michael Persinger, Laurentian University, Canada
* Bishop Stephen Sykes, University of Durham, UK
* Dr Andrew Newberg, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, USA
* Prof Richard Dawkins, UK