Pemes and the "God Module"

Freespeak (
Thu, 05 Mar 1998 23:38:24 -0700

At 10:35 PM 3/5/98 -0500, "Karl R. Peters"
<> wrote:
>On the subject of Pemes, Memes, Kemes, and Zemes...
>Has anyone read, "The Origin of Consciousness in the
>Breakdown of the Bi-Cameral Mind", by Julian Jaynes?
>I have become convinced that linguistic thought itself
>is a product of culture, not just the ideas thought in
>Obviously, I'm not a fan of Noam Chomsky ;->

The distinction between "linguistic thought itself"
and "the ideas thought in it" is important.

Deep pemes are inherent in "linguistic thought itself."
To clear deep pemes from your brain, you not only have
to change certain ideas, you have to question, attack,
and destroy the "vessels that contain" the ideas, so to

On Wed, 29 Oct 1997 15:09:53 -0800 wrote
>If you need some interesting food for thought with
>regard to how we are mentally wired and why we are
>so easily manipulated by statists, read the mid-70's
>classic by Princeton professor Julian Jaynes, with
>the ambitious title "The Origin of Consciousness in
>the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind." His survey of
>both historical and psychological literature ties
>together some diverse threads in a most interesting
>way. The basic premise is that man was only "semi-
>conscious" until fairly recently in history; that
>we lived in a kind of hallucinatory illusion filled
>with voices of gods and were much more manipulable,
>similar to the hypnotic state. I have no idea if
>his theory ever achieved any serious stature but
>the diversity of disciplines he tried to draw from
>was impressive and very thought provoking.

As far as I know, most academics in related fields
ignore Jaynes. Interestingly, the following article
recently appeared:

--- Begin Article ---

Brain researchers find 'God module'
Los Angeles Times

NEW ORLEANS -- No one knows why humanity felt its
first religious stirrings, but researchers at
University of California, San Diego, reported
Tuesday that the human brain may be hard-wired
to hear the voice of heaven.

In an experiment with patients suffering from
an unusual form of epilepsy, researchers at the
UC San Diego brain and perception laboratory
determined that the parts of the brain's temporal
lobe -- which the scientists dubbed the "God
module" -- may affect how intensely a person
responds to religious beliefs. The researchers
said the experiment was the first effort to
address the neural basis of religious

People suffering this type of seizure have reported
intense mystical and religious experiences as part
of their attacks but also are ususually preoccupied
with mystical thoughts between seizures. That led
the researchers to use the patients as a way of
investigating the relationship between the physical
structure of the brain and spiritual experiences.

The researchers determined that one effect of the
patients' seizures was to strengthen their brain's
involuntary response to religious words, which led
the scientists to suggest a portion of the brain
was attuned to ideas about a supreme being.

"It is not clear why such dedicated neural machinery
... for religion may have evolved," the team reported
Tuesday at a meeting of the Society for Neuroscience
in New Orleans. One possibility, the scientists
suggested, was to encourage tribe loyalty or reinforce
kinship ties or the stability of a closely knit clan.

The scientists emphasized that their findings in no
way suggest that religion is simply a matter of brain
chemistry. "These studies do not in any way negate
the validity of religious experience or God," the
team cautioned. "They merely provide an explanation
in terms of brain regions that may be involved."

Until recently, most neuroscientists confined their
inquiries to research aimed at alleviating the medical
problems that affect the brain's health and to attempts
to fathom its fundamental neural mechanisms.

Emboldened by their growing understanding of how
the brain works, however, scientists now dare to
investigate the relationship between the brain,
human consciousness and intangible mental experiences.

Craig Kinsely, an expert in psychology and neuroscience
at the University of Richmond in Virginia, said:
"People have been tickling around the edges of
consciousness, and this sort of research plunges
in. There is the quandary of whether the mind
created God or God created the mind. This is
going to shake people up, but (any conclusion)
is very premature."

Vilayanur Ramachandran, the senior scientist involved
in the experiment and the director of the center for
brain and cognition at UC San Diego, said, "We are
skating on thin ice. We are only starting to look at
this. The exciting thing is that you can even begin
to contemplate scientific experiments on the neural
basis of religion and God."

--- End Article ---

Maybe the "god module" has a companion called the
"government module" -- or maybe they're both part
of a larger "external-authority module." Maybe the
phenomena of "god worship" and "government worship"
have a great deal in common -- part of a general
"master peme program?"

Frederick Mann
"The [one] who knows what freedom is will find a way to be free."
-- Robert LeFevre
"We are free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it."
-- William Faulkner
"The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."
-- Steve Biko
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