No Proof of “God Spot” in Our Brain: News Roundup

In the news: research shows no “God spot” in the brain, Texas American Muslims sue IHOP for wrongful termination, Arizona law allows class on Bible, and other stories.

Scientists have speculated that the human brain features a “God spot,” one distinct area of the brain responsible for spirituality. Now, University of Missouri researchers have completed research that indicates spirituality is a complex phenomenon, and multiple areas of the brain are responsible for the many aspects of spiritual experiences.
 
“We have found a neuropsychological basis for spirituality, but it’s not isolated to one specific area of the brain,” said Brick Johnstone, professor of health psychology in the School of Health Professions. “Spirituality is a much more dynamic concept that uses many parts of the brain. Certain parts of the brain play more predominant roles, but they all work together to facilitate individuals’ spiritual experiences.” Huffington Post
 
College-aged “Millennials” are a racially and ethnically diverse generation that is less religious and politically motivated than the general public, according to a new survey released today at Georgetown. Georgetown University News
 
Six Creswell siblings became wards of the state Monday as their parents await trial in connection with the death of their teenage son, who died in December after the couple allegedly chose prayer over medical care for his undisclosed treatable ailment.
 
Brandi and Russel Bellew face second-degree manslaughter charges in the death of 16-year-old Austin Sprout. But they may continue to care for their remaining children under a state-supervised “in-home safety plan,” Lane County Circuit Juvenile Court Judge Eveleen Henry also ruled in a brief afternoon hearing. Register Guard
 
Four former managers of IHOP restaurants in Texas are fighting the owner of the franchise they worked for in court, claiming they were wrongfully terminated based on their "nationality and religion."
 
The four men, all identified in court papers as "Muslims of Arab descent," worked as managers at the Dallas/Fort Worth area locations. Hussein Chamseddine was employed by the franchise for 12 years, Rami Saleh and Brandon Adam each for five years, and Chekri Bakro for 24 years.
 
According to a complaint filed in a Texas district court, the men allege they were fired without cause.
 
"They weren't terminated because someone complained or because someone didn't like their attitude," said Sara Kane, a civil rights attorney representing the men. "They were fired because of who they are. That is the determining factor." ABC
 
An Arizona bill that creates a high school course for public and charter school students that teaches the Bible and its role in Western culture is now law.
 
Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation Tuesday that requires the state Board of Education to design a high school elective course titled "The Bible and its influence on Western Culture," which would include lessons on the history, literature and influence of the Old and New testaments on laws, government and culture, among other aspects of society.
Arizona becomes the sixth state to allow districts to offer a high school elective Bible course. Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and South Carolina are currently the only ones with laws permitting these courses. Other states like Kentucky have introduced similar proposals, but the bills have failed to become law.    Huffington Post