Tuesday, May 17, 2011

This is your brain on Christianity. Any Questions?

Remember the anti drug campaign that showed you an egg frying while the announcer said “this is your brain on drugs”? Well, apparently “brain rot” is a problem among the religious, but is not as significant if you are part of a mainline, protestant denomination.

A recent study at Duke University Medical Center has recently revealed the results of a study of brain scans done on elderly patients. What they discovered is that “brain rot” happens faster among those who were religious, but is slower for those who are part of mainline, Protestant denominations. Here is what the study says:

"As you can see in the graph, the rot was slowest in mainline Protestants, faster in born-again Protestants and Catholics, and faster still all in those with no religion. The group who fared worst were those who had experienced a 'life-changing' religious event sometime in the past.
The authors put this down to the stress of being in a minority group. It's known that high levels of stress can increase the rate of hippocampal rot."

Better hope that recent converts don’t read the line about “recent life-changing religious event.” We will have all kinds of people leaving the church.

Interesting that the study says nothing about other religious groups like Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. Maybe their brains don’t rot?

You can read the whole article here.


  1. Cause or correlation?

    I wonder about the results of these studies. They are always great for some PR, but they don't do much to inform the public. For instance, it's too easy to make the leap the being Catholic is the cause of the "brain rot", but it might be a correlation - like too much communion wine.

    It would be interesting to get at the reason. Of course, I'd have to read the WHOLE (glug) article and that's too much of a chore for my quickly deteriorating hippocampus.

  2. Does this imply that Mainline Protestants are not "born again," or have not "experienced" Jesus in a life changing way?

  3. Mike and Phil,

    As you both seem to have noticed, it is always interesting how these questions are framed and the results produced. Makes one realize that surveys and statistics really are limited in what they can tell us.

  4. and I thought that I was just getting old...

  5. I'm glad it's not the Diet Coke.

  6. note also how having no religious affiliation is worse for you than being born again liberal or catholic!

  7. I've seen this on three blogs now. I think we should let scientists peer review these claims before coming to any conclusions. It could well be junk science. We need more data, and the absence of a scale on the Y axis sets off alarm bells for me.