Dr. Sarah Strand Speaks on the Neurobiology of Religion at AASF

650 views since posting on Mon, August 1, 2011 - 7:52 AM
Date & Time: Sunday, August 14, 2011 more on this date
3:00 PM
This month Atheist Advocates of SF features a talk by Dr. Sarah Strand on the neurobiology of religion and religious experiences.

She will talk about how to induce an out-of-body experience and why people tend to feel a sense of peace and connection when they have one. To many this proves the existence of a spiritual world inhabited by god(s). Sarah explains just how fallacious this argument is.

Evidence increasingly demonstrates that the feelings associated with religious experiences play a primary role in people being intensely religious. Andy Thompson of the Richard Dawkins Foundation has written about the ways in which religion latches onto human characteristics developed during our evolutionary history. Sarah will focus on what cortices of the brain are associated with religion, and how religious experiences induce strong sensations of pleasure, providing an illusion of an invisible friend in a world beyond ours. She will tell you who William James, Olaf Blanke, and Michael Persinger are and what they have in common.

And if all that fails to convince you to attend, then come for a funny god cartoon and to see a woman wearing a football helmet who sees floating spiritual entities. How can you resist that?

When Sara gave this talk in Sacramento at a large atheist gathering, it was highly rated.

Here are some member comments:

"A great, succinct presentation. Very well done!"

"What a great talk! Now I see how my sister could have really seen angels around her bed at the age of 5. This is her trump card proof of God to this day."

"Great presentation, fun and informative. I understand a bit better now that it's not all about indoctrination and tradition."

Dr. Strand is a research supervisor in the neurobiology department at UC Davis.

Please join us for dinner after the meeting at a nearby reasonably-priced Chinese restaurant.

When: Sunday, August 14th, 3:00 to 5:00 PM (Meeting will start promptly at 3:00)

Location: Audre Lorde Room (Upstairs), Women's Building, 3543 18th (at Valencia), San Francisco

Cost: $6 Renting a meeting room means we must charge admittance. We would appreciate exact change if convenient. Most of all we want you to join us for this talk.

Note: The Women's Building is three blocks from the Mission 16th St. BART. If you don't know the neighborhood we suggest that as you reach the top of the stairs from BART, turn right and walk a few yards to 16th. Then turn left on 16th Street and walk to Valencia, then turn left on Valencia to 18th St.

Parking: Garage at 3255 21st Street (at Lexington)

Info: Larry Hicok: 510-222-7580 or

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