From: "Zero Powers" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> The only way I see is by meme warfare. But this is admittedly an
> excrutiatingly slow way to wipe out theism. Particularly since religions
> are like Chinese handcuffs. The more you pull, the more resistant it
Neuroscientists Map 'God Module'
Baltimore, MD -- A team of neuroscientists based at Johns Hopkins University
has announced successful completion of a study designed to investigate the
operation of theism, a mysterious and often misunderstood mental aberration
unique to the human species and afflicting a large percentage of its
Building on the discovery last year of a so-called 'god module' in the human
brain, Dr. Cyrus Naptik led the team. "The god module hypothesis was very
exciting since it presented us with a direction for our research," he
explained. "We are trying to delineate the intellectual gymnastics required of
people who suffer from theism yet still use common sense in other areas of
The progress of previous research was hampered by scientists' lack of
knowledge of any distinct locus of theistic neurological activity. The god
module provided the focus for the latest study, which mapped its behaviour to
decipher the operation of theist brains.
'Logic' of Theism Uncovered
Early on, Dr. Naptik's team realized that the module is "a brain within a
brain," with its own memory center (dogma) and reasoning system (faith). They
painstakingly waded through the detritus of dogma and faith to extract the
fundamental pseudo-logical rules that control the functioning of the god
module and thus the theist brain.
Four rules were identified:
Everything inside the module is true.
In case of contradiction inside the module, apply rule #1. Be creative.
In case of contradiction between something inside the module and something
outside the module, apply rule #1. Be creative.
If the contents of the module are irrelevant to an issue outside the module
(according to rules determined inside the module), apply a different set of
rules to the issue. Do not use these different rules inside the module.
The god module acts as a gatekeeper to the conscious thought of the host
brain, eventually conditioning it to comply unconsciously, too.
The researchers were initially self-congratulatory upon formulating the four
rules, but unanswered questions remained. For example, all but the most
advanced theists studied were stumped during examination and assessment of
their god module-enhanced creativity. Obviously, "Be creative" was not
included in their rule-set.
Module Types: Client, Server and Command
The theory required modification to account for this and other anomalies. A
hierarchical model was proposed. Now the dominant theory of theism, it
includes three primary types of god module.
The original four rules are ascribed to only the rarest and most powerful, the
command module. Subservient to it is the more common server module, in which
"Be creative" is replaced by "Consult command module." Most common, and lowest
in the hierarchy, is the client module, which instructs the host brain to
"Consult server module" when faced with contradiction.
The affliction of theism, understood in this way, adapts to conceptual
opposition by propagating creative interpretations of dogma and contortions of
faith. They originate in a command version of the brain's god module, proceed
to the server modules and, finally, to the highly deferential client modules.
The study found some people in whom the area of the brain occupied by the god
module was not commandeered by theism. Either it was never infected, or it had
been purged of the malicious meme by the only known cure: doubt. The
neurological resources in the area were free to be used seamlessly with the
rest of their brains.
"The fact that these individuals are called non-theists," Dr. Naptik said,
"indicates just how common theism has become. We suggest that it is more
appropriate to call them healthy."
--- --- --- --- ---
Useless hypotheses, etc.:
consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment
We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.
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