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The Ultimate "No Brainer"

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This may be the actual scandal of the evangelical mind: it's tiny.

A born-again religious experience may save your soul, but it also shrinks your brain, according to a new study by a Duke University researcher. Self-identified born-again participants in the study had smaller hippocampus regions in the brain than did non-religious people, Catholics, and mainline Protestants who do not call themselves "born-again."

The finding turned up in a probe of depression among older adults. "There may be more factors responsible for the correlation," said Amy Owen, the psychologist who wrote the report. She cited stress as one reason that portion of the brain shrinks. Some sociologists argue with the finding, saying that at 40 percent of the U.S. population, evangelicals aren't exactly a stressed-out minority.

The article in USA Today suggested that with their dwindling membership and declining offerings, the mainline denominations might find their larger brains to be something worth celebrating. So, ...

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