08 January 2012

"You’ve said that neuroscience is changing the way we understand sin. Can you tell me about that?"

Conservation biologist Michael Soule tells us in an interview at The Last Word on Nothing that sin is definitely hardwired:-
Sin was kind of a mystery behaviorally and biologically until about the last 20 years, when people started looking at human behavior under the lens of functional magnetic resonance and electroencephalography and other forms of visualizing what the brain is doing when it is feeling or thinking about certain things, or when the person is behaving in certain ways.

Almost all of the sins have been looked at and been located in the brain. It’s pretty crude at the moment. But still, we know the sins are in the brain, which means that the biological basis is clear. We’re hard-wired to behave in self-biased ways.

Over the last several hundred thousand years, we’ve also become hard-wired to behave in a social way. Which means that the self has to submit to the group in some way, to subordinate its greed and envy and gluttony and so forth to what the group needs to survive. Because we depend on our groups to survive and prosper.
(Hat-tip Andrew Sullivan.)

1 comment:

  1. Ack! I accidentally deleted your "What on earth??? " comment on my blog... sorry about that. :/