Customer Review

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evidence based "medicine", January 12, 2011
This review is from: How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist (Paperback)
I enjoyed greatly the first two-thirds of the book (i.e. pg 1 - 144). The authors give lots of evidence (with clear references mostly from peer-reviewed journals) on how religious practices, e.g. meditation and prayers, can physically change the brain. Meditation and prayers can enhance the functioning of the anterior cingulate gyrus, and subdue the activation of the parietal lobe and amydala - essentially giving you a sense of compassion and removing the sensation of self-centeredness and negative emotions like anger and fear.

The book does talk about the concept of God. But don't expect a totally comprehensive account. As there is an underlying assumption that the mind is the physical brain, certain traditional Christian concepts have to be discarded by the authors outright. Personally, in spite of being a physician, I believe in the existence of a non-physical soul. My disagreement with the authors does not significantly diminish my enjoyment of the book.

The last part of the book (pg 149-248) talks about relaxation, meditation, and communication skills. It is difficult to assoicate these topics with God or religion. Although engaging on their own right, I find them slightly out of place.

As a practisting medical specialist, I am deeply fascinated by the scientific facts presented in this book. I particularly liked checking out the original articles in the endnotes section (pg 259-333). For instance, learning that yoga can change the level of NK (natural killer) cells is a revelation.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 13, 2014 10:28:51 AM PDT
It is refreshing to read a centered, objective viewpoint by someone in the REAL field of medicine, and not someone persuaded that this book is a good read based on their own wishful thinking about any connection between religion and science.

There has been a vast chasm between religion and science ever since Galileo was arrested for his views on the center of the solar system that was different than the Christian Church in ~1609 A.D. I believe many of the reviewers of this book are overly eager to mend this 400 year old rift, and allow their objectivity to be poisoned by their personal desires. This reviewer has pointed out his awareness of his own bias and probably is more objective because of this self-awareness.
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