Wait, sorry, that was supposed to be crossword, not cross words. Religion is already full of cross words. Just listen to any zealot, and a lot of the words they use will be cross.
But no, I'm talking about this new thing called Neurotheology. NPR did a story on it, so it must be either very leftist or... um, socialist, right? Anyway, it's going to be more honest and informative than FOX news will be, that's for sure. Right?
Well, maybe. See, the Neurotheology article reports that a scientist did brain scans of religious people before and after eight weeks of meditation, just 12 minutes a day. What this showed was pretty interesting and significant, and actionable--with this simple, non-intrusive technique, people can actually get their brains to work better and improve their memory. This was shown in tests.
The conclusion, however, is that somehow the spiritual nature of the activity is the source of the improvement in brain function. That being religious and meditating is what causes it. Not just the meditating sans the religious aspect.
But waaayy back in January, 2006, TIME magazine ran an article about ways to stave off Alzheimer's. And I quote:
Several studies have found that folks who regularly engage in mentally challenging activities—like reading, doing crossword puzzles or playing chess—seem less likely to develop dementia later in life.
Hmm. Sounds maybe like... 12 minutes a day of heightened concentration exercises leading to improved memory and brain function.
Kind of like 20 minutes of exercise a day leads to better muscle tone and improved body function.
Not really that surprising or revolutionary, to be honest. And really, really hard to tie to spirituality.
Which actually appears to be what the scientist who did the neurotheology study concludes. Smart man, that. He says, "One could try to conclude one way or the other that maybe it’s the biology or maybe God's really in the room, but the scan itself doesn't really show that."
In other words, "Hey guys, I've got some results, but in order to understand them we'll need a whole pile of more research money. All of you who want to prove that there's a higher power, put your money in this bucket on the right. All of you who want to disprove the existence of God, put your money in this bucket on the left."
Genius, this guy. I bet he could totally beat my time at the NYT crossword puzzle. (Around 11 minutes for Wednesday's puzzle this week. But it was late.)
Unless he starts watching FOX news regularly, in which case he may end up like the other couple million zombies who still think Obama was born in a foreign country.