Apparently our brains have "a natural inclination for religious belief, especially during hard times." This does not bode well for advancing the interests of reason and science in the continuing economic crisis -- especially if you believe, as I do, that what we're seeing now is just the beginning.
Born Believers: How Your Brain Creates God
WHILE many institutions collapsed during the Great Depression that began in 1929, one kind did rather well. During this leanest of times, the strictest, most authoritarian churches saw a surge in attendance.
This anomaly was documented in the early 1970s, but only now is science beginning to tell us why. It turns out that human beings have a natural inclination for religious belief, especially during hard times. Our brains effortlessly conjure up an imaginary world of spirits, gods and monsters, and the more insecure we feel, the harder it is to resist the pull of this supernatural world. It seems that our minds are finely tuned to believe in gods.
The Credit Crunch Could Be A Boon For Irrational Belief