The Toronto Star, Canada’s highest-circulation newspaper, has good news for those of us who see signs and wonders in our breakfast toast. Their headline is: ‘Jesus on toast’ just a sign your brain is doing its job. They say, with some bold font added by us for emphasis:
Spotting Jesus on your morning toast, the Virgin Mary on a piece of bark or the face of Elvis on a potato chip is completely normal; all you have to do is believe. “Believing is seeing,” says Kang Lee, a University of Toronto professor and the lead researcher behind a new study that finds “face pareidolia” or finding the Lord and Saviour in your toast is, in fact, not a sign your imagination has run away with itself.
Rejoice, dear reader — you’re not insane. The professor also tells us:
“We impose our expectations, our interpretations on all the stimulants we receive in the world,” says Lee, who partnered on the project with several Asian institutions. In other words, because human brains are specifically designed to recognize faces — even when they aren’t there — and because the frontal cortex interprets outside stimuli and generates our expectations — you can find Jesus.
Wouldja believe it — his research has been published! The newspaper says:
Participants were hooked up to a brain scan and their individual behavioural responses to various images were studied. The results were published in the April 2014 edition of Cortex.
Here’s a link to that paper: Seeing Jesus in toast: Neural and behavioral correlates of face pareidolia, but without a subscription, all you can read is the abstract. Let’s get back to the Toronto Star:
“You’re not going crazy,” Lee assures. “You actually see the pixels of faces in the noise because your brain is interpreting it.” And depending on what you’re expecting to see, you might see Jesus, you might see Buddha or you might see different letters.
Or, as happens to us, you might see Darwin. Here’s one more excerpt:
And if you’re lucky enough to happen upon a religious icon at the bottom of your chip bag, there could be an opportunity to cash in. Food bearing a resemblance to religious icons has been sold online, including a popular “Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich” that sold on eBay for $28,000.
This is great research! Now the professor needs to explain how the creationist brain can read scripture and find within it all of physics, astronomy, geology, and biology.
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