Category: Natalie Emmons

Intuitions of Our Immortality: Visions of Life Before Conception

February 3rd, 2014 in 2014, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Deborah Kelemen, Natalie Emmons, Newsmakers, RESEARCH @ BU 0 comments

Pacific Standard
Deborah Kelemen, College of Arts & Sciences
Natalie Emmons, College of Arts & Sciences

We’ve all ruminated about the possibility of life after death. But what about the notion of life before birth—or even conception?…

Expert quote:

Emmons

“Even kids who had biological knowledge about reproduction still seemed to think that they had existed in some sort of eternal form. And that form really seemed to be about emotions and desires.”

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Immortality belief starts young, experts say

February 3rd, 2014 in 2014, Boston Globe, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Natalie Emmons, Newsmakers, RESEARCH @ BU 0 comments

Boston Globe (subscription required)
Natalie Emmons, College of Arts & Sciences

Is the desire for immortality something we learn as we grow older and fear death, or a core, universal intuition that we develop early in life?

Expert quote:

“I think as part of our social reasoning, we are so motivated to infer goals and desires and emotions to social agents that we really can’t switch it off.”

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Human Belief in Soul is ‘Innate’, Say Scientists

February 2nd, 2014 in 2014, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Deborah Kelemen, International Business Times, Natalie Emmons, Newsmakers, RESEARCH @ BU 0 comments

International Business Times (UK)
Deborah Kelemen, College of Arts & Sciences
Natalie Emmons, College of Arts & Sciences

We are born with a predisposition to believe in an immortal soul, according to a recent scientific study…

Expert quotes:

Kelemen

“This work shows that it’s possible for science to study religious belief. At the same time, it helps us understand some universal aspects of human cognition and the structure of the mind.”

Emmons

“I study these things for a living but even find myself defaulting to them. I know that my mind is a product of my brain but I still like to think of myself as something independent of my body.”

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Prelife reasoning: our belief in immortality starts young

January 31st, 2014 in 2014, Blogs, Boston.com, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Natalie Emmons, Newsmakers, RESEARCH @ BU 0 comments

Boston.com “Science in Mind Blog”
Natalie Emmons, College of Arts & Sciences

Is the desire for immortality something we learn as we grow older and fear death, or a core, universal intuition that we have from early in life?

Expert quote:

“They’d say, ‘I wish, I desired to be born,’ or ‘I knew that I would be created.’  How could you know that if you weren’t made yet? That’s the kind of logic they were using.”

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Humans Are Naturally Inclined to Believe We’re Immortal

January 30th, 2014 in 2014, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Natalie Emmons, Newsmakers, RESEARCH @ BU, Smithsonian 0 comments

Smithsonian
Natalie Emmons, College of Arts & Sciences

According to Roman Catholicism, existence begins at conception. But that’s far from a universal idea. Some indigenous cultures in the Amazon Basin, for example, don’t have a cultural take on life before birth…

Expert quote:

“Even kids who had biological knowledge about reproduction still seemed to think that they had existed in some sort of eternal form. And that form really seemed to be about emotions and desires.”

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Are we hard-wired to believe we’re IMMORTAL? Belief that we are eternal is part of human nature and develops during childhood

January 30th, 2014 in 2014, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Daily Mail, Deborah Kelemen, Natalie Emmons, Newsmakers, RESEARCH @ BU 0 comments

Daily Mail
Deborah Kelemen, College of Arts & Sciences
Natalie Emmons, College of Arts & Sciences

People across the world, regardless of their religion or culture, believe that humans are immortal, according to research. A new study has shed some light on people’s beliefs that a person’s soul or essence transcends the physical body’s death…

Expert quotes:

Kelemen –

“This work shows that it’s possible for science to study religious belief. At the same time, it helps us understand some universal aspects of human cognition and the structure of the mind.”

Emmons –

“Even kids who had biological knowledge about reproduction still seemed to think that they had existed in some sort of eternal form and that form really seemed to be about emotions and desires.”

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Are we hardwired to believe we’re immortal?

January 29th, 2014 in 2014, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Deborah Kelemen, Feature, Futurity News, Natalie Emmons, Newsmakers, RESEARCH @ BU 0 comments

Futurity News
Deborah Kelemen, College of Arts & Sciences
Natalie Emmons, College of Arts & Sciences

Most people, regardless of race, religion, or culture, believe they are immortal. That is, people believe that part of themselves—some indelible core, soul, or essence—will live forever…

Expert quotes:

Kelemen:

“This work shows that it’s possible for science to study religious belief. At the same time, it helps us understand some universal aspects of human cognition and the structure of the mind.”

Emmons:

“By focusing on prelife, we could see if culture causes these beliefs to appear, or if they appear spontaneously.”

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Belief in immortality hard-wired? Study examines development of children’s ‘prelife’ reasoning

January 28th, 2014 in 2014, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Deborah Kelemen, Natalie Emmons, Newsmakers, RESEARCH @ BU, Science Daily 0 comments

Science Daily
Deborah Kelemen, College of Arts & Sciences
Natalie Emmons, College of Arts & Sciences

By examining children’s ideas about “prelife,” the time before conception, researchers found results which suggest that our bias toward immortality is a part of human intuition that naturally emerges early in life…

Expert quotes:

Kelemen –

“This work shows that it’s possible for science to study religious belief. At the same time, it helps us understand some universal aspects of human cognition and the structure of the mind.”

Emmons –

“By focusing on prelife, we could see if culture causes these beliefs to appear, or if they appear spontaneously.”

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Do you feel immortal? Chances are you did when you were born

January 28th, 2014 in 2014, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Deborah Kelemen, Natalie Emmons, Newsmakers 0 comments

Wired UK
Deborah Kelemen, College of Arts & Sciences
Natalie Emmons, College of Arts & Sciences

According to a recent study led by Natalie Emmons of Boston University, the tendency to reason in terms of an eternal mind “is a universal cognitive default”, regardless of race, religion or culture. In other words, we all come into this life believing we’re immortal, with a large proportion of us never truly shaking the belief off…

Expert quotes:

Kelemen

“This work shows that it’s possible for science to study religious belief.”

Emmons

“Our bias towards a belief of some kind of existence prior to material embodiment emerges naturally in early life.”

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