Often it is assumed that working scientists avoid issues of spirituality and theology, because they are not believers or do not care for the science and religion debate. Surely there are some scientists who fit that description, but many of the great minds of science have been fascinated with ultimate questions of God and creation, taking strong stands for or against belief. This Beliefnet series will run regular thumbnail sketches of how prominent scientists, past and present, have thought on the subject.

     Herbert Benson

A professor at Harvard Medical School, Benson is one of several credentialed researchers (Harold Koenig of Duke University is another) whose studies show that believers in any mainstream faith as a group have better health outcomes than non-believers, even when control factors are adjusted for. Benson also thinks that in prehistory, social or family groups with proto-religious beliefs were more likely to survive and prosper than groups lacking such beliefs, meaning that by now, men and women are "wired for God" in an evolutionary sense.

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