Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Auburn researcher shows religion resulted from evolution

See also

Religion is the result of evolution according to research conducted by Gopikrishna Deshpande, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, and colleague that was published in the Jan. 17, 2014, edition of the journal Brain Connectivity.

The researchers equate the gradual development of theory of mind with the gradual evolution of the physical structures in the brain that produced the capabilities for humans to develop religious beliefs. Theory of mind involves the brain networks that allow people to relate the effects of their behavior on others as well as to interpret the behavior of other people.

The researchers found that people that were religious or considered themselves to be religious had a higher development of theory of mind than people who were not religious.

The researchers proposed that there is a biological and evolutionary basis for religion because religion has been a part of every human culture since the earliest of known human existence.

The researchers analyzed the brain activity of religious and non-religious people while the test subjects thought of three specific aspects of religious belief using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Different brain networks were involved in the contemplation of different aspects of religion but there was no detectable difference in the amount of brain activity between self-declared religious people and non-religious people.

One needs to consider the distinction between religion and God before any decision is made about the evolution of theory of mind as a development in man that produced the development of religion.



  • Israel, Hamas clash in Gaza
    Hamas claims to have captured an IDF soldier on the bloodiest day of the conflict
  • Missing bodies
    38 bodies have not been found from the MH17 debris field in eastern Ukraine
    World News
  • Peeping Toms in NSA?
    Has the NSA seen you naked? Edward Snowden says it's not unlikely
  • Autism study
    The newest, largest study on autism suggests that it mostly has to do with genetics
  • McIlroy takes Open
    Rory McIlroy hangs onto the lead and wins the 2014 British Open
  • $23 billion payout
    A jury sides with the widow of a smoker, tobacco company shells out $23 billion

Related Videos:

  • Demystifying the giant 'End of the World' hole in Siberia: So what is it?
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518330038" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Native American tribe cancels Ted Nugent show over past racist comments
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518259513" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Edward Snowden
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518257473" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>