Fascinating article in New Scientist
reports on research that posits that what really separates skeptics from believers (when it comes to matters such as paranormal activity) is brain chemistry
. Those with high levels of dopamine in their brains seem to be more prone to see patterns and meaning in random pieces of information. When the drug L-dopa was given to skeptics, they likewise became more prone to see patterns in randomness as well. Of course, the researchers seem to be assuming that the patterns weren't really there. But maybe they actually really WERE there, but the researchers themselves weren't able to see them because their own levels of dopamine weren't high enough. I wonder if the researchers noted their own dopamine levels as part of the study.