17
Sep
08

Glossolalia!

Since some of you may be familiar with the GOP nominee, Palin. Since her nomination, the AoG church, a Pentecostal sect, has been getting far too much media attention. I figured I’d go on a little discussion about the neurobiology of a few of their little rituals. Among these are glossolalia. Others are “prophecy” and “faith healing,” however, I shall not cover these as they have both been discussed at great length elsewhere. So, what is glossolalia? Well, let’s start out with what we know. It’s no known language and only sounds similar when heard passingly. Neuroimaging has often been used to present the lack of brain activity in the language center meaning it is actually spiritual. This ignores the fact that no other behaviors would require a spirit to occur and also that other parts of the brain during these scans appear lit up like a Las Vegas casino sign. The parts of the brain which light up are involved in emotions and social interactions. Anthropologists have looked in detail at structure of the gibberish mouthed while the fundies are “speaking in tongues” and concluded it is only SOUNDS like language with no structure or sounds which are actually useful. It is either a conscious mouthing of utter nonsense or it is an unconscious mouthing of utter nonsense. Now let’s look to see at whether or not it is deliberate.

While it can be argued that individuals experiencing glossolalia are in a hypersocial environment with the expectation for someone to begin “speaking in tongues” via the lead lemming saying something like “do you feel the the noodley appendage!?!?” which triggers the individual which is the focus of attention to begin behaving as expected. Indeed, it appears this may be the case in some instances upon looking at videos of glossolalia actually occurring. Typically, the lead lemming points to a side of the crowd where said noodley appendage is supposed to be moving from and like magic (or mass delusion) people begin writhing, yelling, and screaming as if immediately entering seizure with the addition of the gibberish.

So, if “speaking in tongues” is neither language, nor spiritual, why is it so many people think it is a “gift” rather than what it really is, an altered mental state due to hypersocial interactions, expectations, and emotions?

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1 Response to “Glossolalia!”


  1. 1 Stacy S.
    September 18, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Because they have been hit with crazy bats! 😉

    Welcome to WP Jared!

    Stacy


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