Mar 27, 2016 11:13 PM EDT

Science VS Religion: New Study Blaming Human Brain For Age-Old Conflict Between Scientific Evidence And Religious Beliefs?

Did you know the reason why science and religion don't mix? Well, an interesting study recently revealed that the age-old conflict between scientific evidence and religious beliefs exists because of human brain's certain characteristics.

In a study published in the journal PLOS One, a team of scientists have discovered that critical thinking is suppressed in the brains of people who believe in the supernatural. According to International Business Times, the study also observed how the parts of the brain responsible for empathy and analytical reasoning were connected to faith and spiritual thinking.

Furthermore, the research hinted that the conflict between religious beliefs and scientific thinking exist because different brain areas were tangled in both cognitive processes. And when the brain shuts off the analytic network and creates a social and emotional atmosphere in the mind, warm feelings go into the equation rather than cold rationality.

"From what we understand about the brain, the leap of faith to belief in the supernatural amounts to pushing aside the critical/analytical way of thinking to help us achieve greater social and emotional insight," Case Western Reserve philosophy professor, Inamori International Center of Ethics and Excellence research director and lead author Tony Jack stated, as per I4U News.

Richard Boyatzis, Case Western Reserve's notable organizational behavior professor and a member of Jack's team, also added that a series of research in cognitive psychology also claimed that people who have faith (religious or spiritual) were not as "smart as others." In fact, study showed that they were "less intelligent."

"Our studies confirmed that statistical relationship, but at the same time showed that people with faith are more prosocial and empathic," Boyatzis added.

In the latest study, researchers conducted a series of eight experiments, which meant to compare religious beliefs with measures of analytic thinking and moral concern. As a result, the research found that the more empathetic the person is, the more likely he or she is religious, Headlines and Global News notes.

"Having empathy doesn't mean you necessarily have anti-scientific beliefs," research assistant and cognitive science and philosophy graduate Jared Friedman said. "Instead, our results suggest that if we only emphasize analytic reasoning and scientific beliefs, then we are compromising our ability to cultivate a different type of thinking, namely social/moral insight."

The recent study also emphasized that some of the great scientists in history were also very spiritual individuals. And through their religious beliefs, Jack believed that it paved the way in "positively promoting scientific creativity and insight."

"Many of history's most famous scientists were spiritual or religious," Jack concluded. "Those noted individuals were intellectually sophisticated enough to see that there is no need for religion and science to come into conflict."

Since the debate about science and religion is generally perceived as a rivalry between worldviews, Jack urged to remember simple rules to avoid the conflict. According to Jack's rules, religion can't explain the physical structure of the world and while science can advise ethical reasoning, it can't "determine what is ethical" or "tell how people should construct meaning and purpose of life," EurekAlert! learns.

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