One Brain — Two Hemispheres: One Half Atheist and One Half Theist
Split-brain is a lay term to describe the result when the corpus callosum connecting the two hemispheres of the brain is severed to some degree. It is an association of symptoms produced by disruption of or interference with the connection between the hemispheres of the brain.
A question was asked:
Do you believe in God?
Neurologist V.S. Ramachandran is Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and Distinguished Professor with the Psychology Department and Neurosciences Program at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor of Biology at the Salk Institute. In this short clip, he explains the case of split-brain patients with one hemisphere without a belief in God, and the other hemisphere with a belief in God. The 2 minute clip was extracted from the Beyond Belief Conference in 2006. Dr. Ramachandran states that this finding should have sent a tsunami to the theological community, but barely produced a ripple. He further states that it raises all kinds of theological questions:
If this person dies — what happens? Does one hemisphere go to hell and the other hemisphere go to heaven? 😉
Lofty questions about the mind are fascinating to ask. Philosophers have been asking them for three millennia both in India where I am from and here in the West – but it is only in the brain that we can eventually hope to find the answers. ~Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
If you’re interested, here’s the full “Beyond Belief” lecture from The Science Network. Fascinating!
Next post — Neuroscience Explanations for ‘Spiritual’ Experiences — Part 2