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Can We Change? Mystics Say Yes, Science Says No - Or Does It? by Ian R Thorpe.
Medical science has always insisted we cannot change the way our brain works but now that view is changing. A number of scientific studies have proved various things that have nade a lot of science fanatics look silly. The brain can be rewired after traumatic injury, meditation can change the way we think, prayer, riyual and superstition are all beneficial and the placebo effect is a powerful healing tool.

Can We Change? Mystics Say Yes, Science Says No - Or Does It?
by Ian R Thorpe.
2011-01-23
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: science, religion, faith, belief, brain, change, injury, prayer, ritual, superstition, healing, placebo

30 June 2010

by Ian R Thorpe

This is not so much a post on 'losing your religion' as 'finding your belief.' It arose out of a thread on an earlier LYR post in which one contributor of comments, a Buddhist, said her belief system required a daily act of faith that people can change. I did not really understand that as people demonstrably can change themselves; their personality, attitude to work, relationships, the way their brains work and even physically change the brain. Though psychologists believe therapy can change people there still seems to be a widely held view that such notions are unscientific, that we are programmed in our DNA to be what we are.

In my reply I mentioned a number of properly conducted studies recently published in the UK that demonstrate:

Meditation can change the way the brain works.
Nerve pathways can be rewired after brain trauma. (I can vouch for that one)
Brain plasticity can be used to change the way we react
Rituals and Superstitions do actually work.
The placebo effect is a powerful healing force if patients believe a therapy is helping them
Prayer has a beneficial effect in healing for people who believe in a god.

The British Novelist Jeanette Winterson commented in a teleision discussion recently: "Once again we see science finally getting its head round what mystics have been telling us for thousands of years."

Here in the UK we have had a little war going on for a few years; militant athesists, an intolerant group who seem to have dedicated themselves to shouting down any argument from the religious or people tolerant of relifion, and have attacked anybody who even dared to suggest that science cannot exlain everything and has not even understood the great questions of life. They hurl abuse at those who are not religious but take the view that the view humans might be something more than biological computers and life something infinitely more interesting that a mere chemical accident, will deny that people have a prefect right to attend communal worship, pray in private, kiss lucky charms, avoid walking under ladders, say 'white rabbits' three times on waking on the first of any month or anything else they feel somehow helps them so long as they do not try to impose their beliefs on others. These science lovers have in fact started to behave in the manner of followers of the most fanatical religious cults.

Militant Atheists want to put an end to 'superstition' and 'magical thinking' (Richard Dawkins' phrase not mine although unlike many of his less famous supporters Prof. Dawkins, a polie and humane man, is willing to defend peoples' right to believe whatever helps them make sense of the world..)

Fortuitously for those of us who have been trying to oppose this blatant bullying, in the studies mentioned below results show that prayer, superstition, ritual and meditation have a beneficial effect. In fact we can use such practices as tools in changing the way our bodies and minds work. So here specifically to help one Buddhist relieve herself of that daily act of faith required to believe people can change and perhaps many other people who want to change but have been told it is not scientifically possible, or just for your entertainment perhaps, is a reading list of scientific evidence from studies aimed at improving neurologists' understanding of how our minds work, that there is indeed more going on in our minds (whatever our minds are) than current scientific knowledge can explain.

I have not read all the actual articles, linked here, in many cases I have traced an informative article from humourous references in my own blog and others. You should not find any links to self help books or other irrelevant material or blatant scams to part you from your hard earned but I can;t guarantee nothing has changed since I checked. I will not be commenting much (only replying to people I know or who say something funny or interesting )in the thread. For the purposes of this post I do not agree or disagree with what you will find at any of these links. They are for information. Chat among yourselves but I would like to think it is a topic more suited to quiet, personal consideration.Please don't ask me for information or opinions, I'm only the delivery man, I can't help.

There was another study published last year that has been excluded from the list because I feared it might set the wrong tone for discussion. It showed that even among people who think they are logical and rational, emotions play a far bigger part in our choices and decisions than logic and reason.

CHANGING THE BRAIN AND THE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF PRAYER, RITUAL OR SUPERSTITION.

CHANGING THE BRAIN THROUGH MEDITATION AND MENTAL EXERCISE
Science Explores Meditations Effect On The Brain People who meditate say it induces well-being and emotional balance. ... The neuroscientists hypothesize that regular meditation actually alters the way the brain is wired, and that these changes...

Changing The Way The Brain Works
Nevertheless, it was clear that the brain can change the way it does things, and that important dormant areas of the brain can be turned on.

REWIRING THE BRAIN AFTER TRAUMATIC INJURY
Rewiring The Human Brain Rewiring the Brain: Inside the New Science of Neuroengineering ... Human beings worked out a few thousand years ago that the brain is where ...

Rewiring A Damaged Brain The goal is to rewire the brain connectivity and bypass the region damaged by trauma, ... Definitions of Human Brain Components ...

PLASTICITY
Human Brain Plasticity "Human brain plasticity: an emerging view of the multiple substrates and mechanisms that cause cortical changes and related sensory dysfunctions after ...

Neuroscience: What is Brain Plasticity? | SciSeek Science Blog
3 Apr 2008 ... The study of brain plasticity has profound implications in human learning and behavior, and as such, for mental health. ...

PRAYER, RITUAL AND SUPERSTITION
Athletes: Rituals and Superstitions
Why Do So Many Athletes, Have Superstitions and Rituals. Do Superstitions Give Athletes a Performance Edge? By Elizabeth Quinn, About.com Guide ...

NeuroLogica Blog » Superstitions – Not All Bad? 7 Jun 2010 ... Researchers looked at task performance and the carrying out ritual superstitions, like crossing one's fingers. They found: ...

The Healing Power Of Prayer
from Science Daily: 18 Jun 2009 ... Health and religion have always been intertwined, most obviously through prayer on behalf of the sick. Does intercessory prayer for sick ...
The Power Of Prayer In Healing
from BBC News: A massive study finds that patients admitted to hospital with heart trouble fare better if someone is praying for them.

Researcher Look At Prayer And Healing
24 Mar 2006 ... In churches, mosques, ashrams, "healing rooms," prayer groups and ... tools of modern science to test the power of prayer to cure others. ...

THE PLACEBO EFFECT
Placebos Are Getting More Effective 24 Aug 2009 ... It's as if the placebo effect is somehow getting stronger. .... the role of the placebo effect in clinical trials and healing in general. ...

The Placebo Effect Is The Healing Force
From The Cancer Journal: Placebo effect is the healing force of nature. Firstly, we ought to note that the placebo does not cause anything in the body, it triggers its natural ...

And just to lower the tone :-)
The Science Of Sexual Attraction
According to scientists, our powers of seduction are at the mercy of our genetic makeup. But there are certain little tricks you can do to give science a helping hand to attract member of the opposite sex ...

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The science clowns are going off their heads again, getting over-excited about the 'discovery' by the Kepler project of Earth 2, an earth like planet that it would only take twenty million ryears to reach in our fastest spacecraft id. What planet do these do these idiots live on?

So Who Are The real Racist Bigots - Those Who Have Opinions or those who would abolish free speech?
Since we began publishing in 2009 we have warned that the real enemies of freedom, the ones who would turn certain sectors of the community are not the conservatives and libertarians, but those who try to mask their fascistic politics by calling themselves left, liberal or socialist. If you want to know what socialism is really all about read up on Stalinist Russia or Maoist China and if you want a comparison for the 'liberal values of Labour and Social democrat voters in Europe or American democrats, look no further than the medieval Inquistion and their brutal purges of 'heresy'.

Pissed Off Locals In Europe Torch Refugee Centres To Resist Enforced Placement Of Immigrants

Citizens in Germany and Italy have taken to burning the resettlement centres in their communities designated to provide accommodation for people who have crossed the Mediterranean to enter Europe illegally.

Riots In Athens As Betrayed Greeks Take Back

Democracy
A converted country inn, forced to close due to punitive EU taxes and restrictive laws, then renovated at taxpayers expense for use by illegal migrants has been burned down in Reichertshofen, Germany after locals discovered it was being prepared to become refugee accommodation.

The Day The EU Died - Destruction Of Greece Shows True Fascist Nature Of The European Project Some inside information on the political stitch up that has turned GreeThe Day The EU Died - Destruction Of Greece Shows True Fascist Nature Of The European Projectce into a vassal state and humiliated the Greek people for the purpose of furthering the neo-Fascist 'ever closer union' agenda of the bureaucratic dictators in Brussels.

The Bansturbator Diaries - Ban Everything And Tax It Too
Red Meat, fast food,, Pies, Pizzas, Cigarettes, Alcohol, and now sugar. The fun fascists are on the rampage everywere. Is there anything we can do to stop them? Yes. all we have to do is ignore them, especially the ones who try to claim some kind of authority by using the word 'science' far more than is necessary.

Spain Goes Full Police State; Government Enacts Law Forbidding Dissent, 'Unauthorized' Photography Of Law Enforcement
Spain is now a police state again. On July 1st, its much-protested "gag" law went into effect, instantly making criminals of those protesting the new law. Not since the death of General Franco has free speech been a crime in the country.

TTIP in the EU: Rejecting Democracy
Trade deals have traditionally been about lowering particular tariffs for imports and exports of goods from one country to another. Trade is not as simple as that any more and for TTIP tariffs are a tiny part of the negotiations because tariffs between the EU and US are virtually non-existent these days. Trade in TTIP is about issues that are relevant and important to us all: from which services are publicly provided, to the safety of the food on our plates

Greece, Monetary Union and Europe - Omnibus
The Greek financial meltdown and inevitable exit from the European Monetary System (Euro) and possibly the EU may be staved off a little longer but will happen. If the burden of Euro membership can wreck strong economies like France, Austria and The Netherlands, how can a basket case like Greece ever cope.

Hackers Hacked - Government Ties Exposed
An Italian company develops hacking tools for government security agencies itself became the target of a hacker attack, resulting in its internal documents being leaked online and its deals with numerous governments being exposed.

Four Converging Crises Could Destroy Europe
Four great crises around Europe’s fringes threaten to engulf the European Union, potentially setting the ambitious post-war unification project back by decades. The EU’s unity, solidarity and international standing are at risk from Greece’s debt, Russia’s role in Ukraine, Britain’s attempt to change its relationship with the bloc, and Mediterranean migration.

Oregon bakery that refused same-sex couple owes $135,000 in damages
This page started by looking as a case of personal liberty versus gay fascism in Belfast, Northern Ireland but looks set to spread in all directions. While the Belfast Gay Cake case was, to the best of our knowledge, the first of its kind in Britain, there have already been a number of high profile cases in which the authorities have deemed that gay bitchiness trumps the civil rights of straight people,

Troika Is Manoeuvering To Rig The Greek Referendum
According to Greece's finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, the troika, the IMF, European Central Bank and EU Commission is planning to rig the outcome of the Greek referendum on whether to accept further austerity measures in return for bail out cash

Ending the Ownership of Money
It must be common knowledge by now that some of the world’s most economically powerful nations are insolvent due to the burden of sovereign debt. These economies are held together through by the faith of citizens and businesses in the currency. If that faith evaporates, the leading economies will crash as voters realise the only thing underwriting the economy is debt.

Climate Change: Physicist Asks Is a Deadly Ice Age on the Horizon?
The last ice age ended approximately 12,000 years ago, and since then we’ve been enjoying a pleasantly warm “interglacial period.” But given that an interglacial may last only 12,000 years, we’re confronted with a scary prospect: Another ice age may be nigh.

Government Paid Trolls Are Using 'Psychology-Based Influence Techniques' in Social Media
Have you ever come across someone on the Internet that you suspected was a paid government troll? Well, there is a very good chance that you were not imagining things. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have solid proof that paid government trolls are using “psychology-based influence techniques” on social media websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Zuckerberg reveals Facebook Working On Apps 'Smarter Than Humans'
In an online Question and Answer session this week Facebook supremo and founding megalomaniacal sociopath Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company is engaged in building AI systems "that are better than humans at our primary senses."

Boko Haram attack on Nigerian village leaves nearly 100 people dead


According to eye witnesses nearly 100 people have been killed in an attack on mosques and houses in a village in north-eastern Nigerian by suspected Boko Haram militants, news feeds reported today (2 July 2015).

Sleepwalking Into Another Middle East War To Make Obama Look Good
Watching the news feeeds, we see The United States has blocked attempts by its alleged Middle East allies to fly heavy weapons directly to the Kurds fighting the Islamic State jihad in Iraq.

War, Famine, Plague and all that
It is no secret that “news” media in the developed world is owned by a few corporate empires whose ultimate owners' are financial operators whose reach extends into manufacturing, extraction industries, big agriculture and food,

The Day the Earth Died - And Why The Green Lobby Did Not Raise A Whimper In Protest
By selling their votes in return for pledges of government spending in their states the current crop of US Senators have effectively transformed their nation from a representative democracy to a dictatorship in which the President can make law on a whim.

Artificial Intelligence: Will It Kill Human Society?
The media, the so called 'experts' and politicians hail every technological advance as if it will btransport us from reality to a utopian paradise. but does Artificial Intelligence and related internet and computer technology pose theats to human society that far outweigh any possible advantages? Whateve, Google plan to put machines in our place on top of the food chain.

City of Berkeley to require cellphone sellers to warn of possible radiation risks
One of the fist themes of this blog was that mobile phones (and wi-fi etc.) do pose a risk to health. Here's the latest admission that the sceptics voices were right, from The Guardian

Have US tactics only helped to make ISIS more powerful?/b>
We have questioned the US led efforts to defeat ISIS in the middle east many times, pointing out that every time the western alliance steps up opposition to the establishment of a news Islamic Caliphate, Islamic State seem to get stronger. 'Conspiracy Theorists', our critics yell. So let's look at opinion from around the world that concurs with ours.

Refugee host school in Germany bans revealing clothes
We have asked before and no doubt will again, when the citizens of a nation are constantly asked to give up their freedoms and change their behaviour in order to avoid offending new arrivals from medievalist cultures, whose effing country is it anyway.

More Violence In Malmo As Community Centre Burned
27 'youths' arrested after shootout in Rosengård
More trouble in Sweden as the ruling elite's determination to had the country over to lawless gangsters and tribalists from barbaric third world cess pits sees violence and inter - tribal conflict continue to increase in the once peaceful suburbs of Swedish cities.

Refugeee Host School In Germany Bans Short Skirts As They Wind Up Muslim Boys
We have asked before and no doubt will again, when the citizens of a nation are constantly asked to give up their freedoms and change their behaviour in order to avoid offending new arrivals from medievalist cultures, whose effing country is it anyway.

How Ironic That Humourless Warmageddonists Will Not See The Irony
I've lost count of how many times this blog has highlighted the extraordinary consistency with which politicians and scientists working in concert manage to achieve the exact opposite of what they are aiming for. One might be tempted to think that the first step in proposing a scientific solution to any problem is to first understand what harm the unintended consequences of your solution might cause.

Saying The Unsayable
Watching BBC Question Time last Thursday, I was struck once again by the way it was left to one of the stock hate figures of the left, Melanie Phillips, to actually pronounce the great, clunking truth that the online activities of left wing hate mobs have rendered unsayable.

Mediterranean Boat People Crisis Threatens European Identity
As European leaders gathere for a summit meeting on the Mediterranean Immigrant crisis, Italy's Matteo Renzi has warned that Europe must find a solution to the ever increasing flow of migrants from third world locations or risk losing its identity.

Saying The Unsayable: Today, Melanie Phillips
Watching BBC Question Time last Thursday, I was struck once again by the way it was left to one of the stock hate figures of the left, Melanie Phillips, to actually pronounce the great, clunking truth that left wing hate mobs have made unsayable.

Russia Outmanoeuvres the west again
While mainstream media (and even some of the more rabidly fascistic left wing bloggers) have been trying to demonize Russia as a way of drumming up public sympathy for Barack Obama's efforts to start a shooting war with Moscow, we Boggart Bloggers and ...

America and UK Lead the World in Climate Scepticism Several times now it has looked as if the climate chance scare was over as the enthusiasm of climate scitentists for changing real world data to fit in with the predictions of their mathematical models has been exposed. But as the scare was never about the environment, but was a scam to redistribute wealth from rich to poor countries, the politicians are throwing their propaganda budgets behind it again.

Sham Marriages To Beat Immigration Laws Are Out Of Control
With main immigration news on being dominated by the Mediterranean boat people crisis and the masses at Calais hoping to stow away in a freight container, we forget that another way of getting somebody into the country is the sham marriage. Numbers involved may be small, but it is another indication of our governments' failure to address the immigration problem.

Mediterranean Immigrant Composite
The flow of undocumented migrants from Africa trying to cross the Mediterranean from the coast of Libya to Italian, Greek and Maltese territory seems unstoppable. Two factors in the problem however have been western (particlarly American meddling in the internal affairs of African states, and wester aid leading to a population explosion national infrastructures are unable to cope with. And of course European leaders haven't a clue how to deal with the problem.

De-Dollarization Du Jour: Russia's Largest Bank Issues Yuan-Denominated Guarantees
Leading the charge to multipolarity and de-dollarization are Russia, resugent despite economic sanctions and the rising superpower in waiting, China. The downgrading of the dollar is clearly demonstrated in the launch of the BRICS bank and the establishment of the AIIB.

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