Any new information on the link between atheism and autism?
#1
A few years ago, several studies were released demonstrating a pretty concrete link between autism and atheistic beliefs.  Since the time of their publication, I haven't seen much more on this topic.  Here's a write-up for a general audience.  The correlations I had seen were very strong (r=.8 in some cases).  Odd that this topic would just drop off the face of the earth.


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This study, described in a newspaper article last year, also points to the relationship between atypical neurological functioning and deficits in spiritual belief: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/scienc...95291.html

Disabling parts of the brain with magnets can weaken faith in God and change attitudes to immigrants, study finds


"...The other got a strong pulse of TMS that was strong enough to temporarily shut down their posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC), a part of the brain that "plays a key role in both detecting discrepancies between desired and current conditions and adjusting subsequent behaviour to resolve such conflicts."



In other words, this part of the brain processes threats and conflicts, and decides how to respond to them.


Before receiving their doses of TMS, both groups were asked about their own deaths. In this area, the tests built on previous studies, which have shown that being confronted with the threat of death can alter a person's belief in God."
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#2
There is a difference between the supernatural gift of faith and simply "feeling" the presence of God.  Lots of people believe in God, yet the God they believe in bears little resemblance to the God whose existence is revealed to us through the Church.  Most of the people I know who are autistic struggle more with subjects that require abstract thought.  They can quote facts about history better than their teachers, but would really struggle to write a term paper for a history class. The concept of God, especially as it is presented in most churches today, is too abstract for that kind of mind.  Also, most autistic people I know would run as far as they can in the opposite direction from the emotion-laden hug-fests that makes up much of modern Christianity.
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