The New 3 "Rs"
Thanksgiving - Origin
Christmas - Origin
Truth, Integrity & Ethics
Science and Religion
Famous American Quotes
Whale Evolution (Macro)
Misc. Areas of Interest
Josephus & Christianity
Christians Need Evolution
Why did Jesus not return?
Why evidence is not effective
Science & Religion links
Adam & Eve - Genomics
The Church & Evolution
Young Earth Creationism
Christianity & Evolution
Macroevolution is true
Human evolution is true
Scriptures are not inspired
Theism not believable
It's not about the evidence
World Views In Collision
Feelings. Red pill - Blue pill
DNA Evidence - Insertions
1. ERVs 2. Transposons
Human Chrom. 2 Fusion
Human Lice & Evolution
Why did they say that?
Old Testament Narratives
"Firmament" - Flat Earth
Who Wrote The Bible?
USA State Rankings by Religiousness
Religion and Happiness. (Section 2) Wikipedia
Religiousness and Happiness in three nations. Link.
Religion and the Brain (very short). Link
Walking Santa, Talking Christ. Link
Connected at church, happy with life. Link
Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side' Link
Atheist Nations More Peaceful Link
Americans aren't as religious as they pretend to be Link
The Least Corrupt Nations 2010 Link
Happiest Nations Have... Link
Americans tailoring religion to fit their needs Link
America states according to faith % Link
Secular societies are the most well-adjusted. Link
But My Vision or Dream Was So Real
Religion is so common in humans that many have posited about a possible "God Gene". Others have suggested that it is an adaptive feature that allows people to cope with difficult circumstances. Ray calls it irrational thinking and likens it to a meme virus that has infected the human race (The God Virus). We easily ascribe events around us to the supernatural especially when young. Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny are usually fun superstitions we experience as children in western cultures. As adults some still believe in ghosts and the paranormal. We certainly enjoy as adults ghost and vampire movies. Halloween goblins, witches and ghosts are things of play now (and retail sales), but we should not forget that not long ago innocent people were burned alive for superstitious reasons, often at the urging and condoning of religion. For most persons, we grow out of our childhood superstitions, but as adults continue to hold fast to religion with its many miracles and visions. A case can made that the Biblical scriptures are built upon visions since for many scriptural writers who claim that they are relaying God's message to his people, that authority comes from a vision. Indeed, the NT can be thought of as Paul's presentation of Christianity begun from a vision. This site lists many common Biblical visions: Link. Basically, most of the religions of today are built upon visions and miracle claims - what we today would characterize as superstitions. Even today, Jesus, angels and Mary appear on pancakes, the sides of buildings and in people's lives often enough that these sightings are only occasionally reported in the news. Satan was seen in the smoke clouds from the burning Twin Towers on 9/11.
Outside of a religious context, people also experience out-of-body events, UFO kidnappings, near death incidents, and visions. It appears that something indeed is happening in our brains. As neurology as moved into brain studies of these phenomena scientists are beginning to reproduce these events and to understand them. In our primate past, there was heavy selection for survival and much of that came down to recognizing dangerous or beneficial patterns around us, such as fruit becoming ripe after a rain or a predator's outline in the brush. We are especially adept at facial pattern recognition and focusing on important cues; friend or foe, mad or content? It could cost us our life if we misinterpret what is happening in an encounter with another. This pattern recognition wiring is so strong that we often ascribe natural events that may be difficult initially to understand to a cause beyond ourselves in a supernatural realm. Shermer especially has written and demonstrated about this erroneous thinking in his books and videos. See his books "How We Believe" and "Why People Believe Weird Things". A demonstration of how some of these experiences can be reproduced is referenced on this web site under The God Helmet and the links below the video leading to a discussion of reproducible pilot tunnel visions of white light when the pilots are placed under enough G-forces. The take home: many of these out of body experiences and "visions" are reproducible in a lab and have underlying neurological explanations. Our ancient pattern seeking wiring has misinterpreted reality and unfortunately many supernatural beliefs are thus built upon hallucinations and delusions that are extremely difficult to overcome intellectually because they are also strongly fused with ancient powerful survival emotions.
"A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it."
"I respectfully decline the invitation to join your hallucination."