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Thursday, March 22, 2007

ABC analyzes speaking in tongues tonight

If you're up late, ABC's Nightline will run a story tonight (11:35 PM) on speaking in tongues. Interestingly, the practice of tongues has been in the news a bit lately, after the New York Times ran a piece on new scientific research revealing brain scans of tongues-speakers engaged in the activity. Tonight it's ABC's turn.

In earlier studies, [University of Pennsylvania researcher Dr. Andrew Newberg] looked at what happens in the brains of Buddhist monks meditating and Franciscan nuns praying. The results were quite different from what happens in the brains of people speaking in tongues, whose brains, he found, went quiet in the frontal lobe -- the part of the brain right behind the forehead that's considered the brain's control center.

The Voice of God?

"When they are actually engaged in this whole very intense spiritual practice … their frontal lobes tend to go down in activity. … It is very consistent with the kind of experience they have, because they say that they're not in charge. [They say] it's the voice of God, it's the spirit of God that is moving through them," said Newberg.

"Whatever is coming out of their mouth is not what they are purposefully or willfully trying to do. And that's in fairly stark contrast to the people who are -- like the Buddhist and Franciscan nuns -- in prayer, because they are very intensely focused and in those individuals the frontal lobes actually increase activity."

Read the rest here.

Get your VCRs and Tivos ready... looks interesting!

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