Muhammad in the Quran, Vol. 1: Chapter 3
15 Dec. 2015
TEMPORAL LOBE EPILEPSY - TLE
According to BBC (20 March 2003) and BBC Two (17. April 2003), this illness explains religious experiences like what Muhammad is said to have had.
"Controversial new (2003) research suggests that whether we believe in a god may not just be a matter of free will. Scientists now believe there may be physical differences in the brains of ardent believer.
Inspiration for this work has come from a group of patients who have a brain disorder called temporal lobe epilepsy (for short: TLE*). In a minority of patients, this condition induces bizarre religious hallucinations - - -.
Professor V.S. Remachandran, of the University of California in San Diego, believed that the temporal lobes of the brain were key in religious experience.
What professor Ramachandran discovered to his surprise was that when the temporal lobe patients were shown any type of religious imagery, their bodies produced a dramatic change in their (electric*) skin resistance. - - - they get a huge galvanic skin response.
This was the very first piece of clinical evidence that the body's response to religious symbols was definitely linked to the temporal lobes in the brain.
What we suggest is that there are certain circuits within the temporal lobes which have been selectively activated in these patients and somehow the activity of these specific neural circuits makes them prone to religious belief.
You may be born with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy - TLE - or it may develop later, or it may be the result of an accident like a blow to your head.
They (the scientists*) believe what happens inside the minds of temporal lobe epilepsy patients may just be an extreme case of what goes on inside all our minds."
As for the first and may be the second alternative for how you get TLE, science (according to f.x. New Scientist) later (2007 or 2008) have found that tendency to being religious often is connected to one or likely a few specific genes in the persons.
Science further have a theory that religious belief has a value for survival, and hence for the development and spreading of the relevant genes, simply by the fact that a common religion makes the members of a group more strongly connect, and this makes the group as a group stronger.
This is where science stands today.
But an extra theory which is relevant here, is that according to the same science, it is possible or likely (actually it is sure, as man does not change much in a few millennia*) that "famous religious persons in the past could also have suffered from the condition (TLE*)".
Muhammad is such a "famous religious person".
As for Muhammad, also the fits he often had in connection to some of his "sights" or "messages", "make every medical professional think about epilepsy."
TLE plus Muhammad's wishes for respect and power may have been the whole start of Islam.
Beware that there also are possibilities for that Muhammad was psychopathic - f.x. his ruthlessness and his self-centered way of being may indicate this. (Psychopathy is rather often the case in charismatic leaders.)
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This work was upload with assistance of M. A. Khan, editor of islam-watch.org and the author of "Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism, and Slavery".