Skip to comments.The God Gene (New book by Dr. Dean Hamer)(He failed to find the "Gay Gene")
Posted on 09/22/2004 8:38:00 AM PDT by Laissez-faire capitalist
Leading Geneticist[?] Dean Hamer cracks the "code" behind why we are predisposed to believe in God. In a book that bridges the gap between religion and science, Hamer brilliantly illuminates how our inclination toward faith is influenced by our genes.
The overwhelming majority of Americans believe in God, expressing a conviction that has existed since the beginning of recorded time and is shared by billions around the world. In The God Gene, Dr. Dean Hamer reveals that this inclination toward religious faith is no accident; it is in good measure due to our genes.
Hamer shows that new discoveries in behavioral genetics and neurobiology indicate that humans inherit a set of predispositions that make their brains ready and eager to embrace a higher power. By analyzing the genetic makeup of over a thousand people of different ages and bckgrounds, and comparing their DNA samples against a scale that measures spirituality, Hamer actually identified a specific "God gene" that appears to influence spirituality.
(Excerpt) Read more at randomhouse.com ...
"We knew that genes were only part of the answer. We assumed the environment also played a role in sexual orientation, as it does in most, if not all behaviors...
Homosexuality is not purely genetic...environmental factors play a role. There is not a single master gene that makes people gay....I don't think we will ever be able o predict who will be gay."
Citing the failure of his research, Hamer further writes,
"The pedigree failed to produce what we originally hoped to find: simple Mendelian inheritance..."
Dean Byrd, Ph.D:
"..the scientific attempts to demonstrate that homosexual attraction is biologically determined have failed...."
Complex behavioral patterns apparently cannot be reduced down to genetic factors alone. In my opinion, it is time that politics was seperated from scientific inquiry.
To see the quotes by Dr. Dean Hamer, and Dr. Byrd go to:
It could be that faith is a perfectly rational position based on observable evidence and many proofs. The heavens declare His handiwork.
Hey, wives parents are Buddhist statue carvers that dont even believe in Buddhism. Yet after reading the Chapter of John, she was convinced and converted...
Can I get an AMEN????
Traits such as eye color, and height, can be directly inherited through our "genes". Other human behaviors are simply too complex to attribute to genes alone.
I think Skinner pretty much adressed the issue.
Dr. Dean Hamer, BTW, was on Good Morning America this morning, talking about this book.
I wonder why (sarcasm)I have never seen anyone who has published a book giving scientific facts showing that no scientist has ever proven homosexuals to be "born that way."
As well, I didn't see these quotes by Dr. Dean Hamer on this mornings Good Morning America show when he was talking about his book. Wonder why. (sarcasm again)
Hey, I pretty much agree with your post #6.
But I do find it laughable when this doctor suggests that the existence of God, or faith in God, or indeed any other aspect of the relationship between man and God is genetically pre-disposed. It is absurd to the point of being a virtual lampoon of satire.
I will check this out. It's extremely hard to imagine that some people have genetic machinery that causes them to believe in God, whereas others are barred from such belief by an accident of birth.
My conviction* is that the desire to know and love God is eternally established in the heart of every living being. Just gets very, very covered due to many factors (insert long philosophical/religious discussion later) - primarily because of long ago choices, and new wrong choices daily.
*Insert another discussion here. Will get back to this.
Big difference between biologically determined and genetically determined. Quite a range of physical and mental characteristics are strongly affected by in utero conditions -- which are determined by such things as the woman's hormone levels, substance abuse, nutritional factors, and stress. The lack of a "gay gene" does not mean that homosexuality isn't biologically determined (though my personal view is that in some cases it is, and in others it's not).
Physical brain development in particular is known to be affected by in utero factors. Testosterone levels can vary the "masculine" or "feminine" characteristics of the brain, alcohol can produce fetal alcohol syndrome, etc.
So is advanced math, but a lot of people just don't get it, in spite of good education from an early age. ALL mental characteristics have a genetic component. Why would faith in a higher power be any different?
Perhaps a strict Calvinist would buy that; I do not. The proposed theory undermines the concept of free will - a basic premise present throughout the Bible. God gives us the will to choose: good or bad - right or wrong - to reject Christ or to embrace him. One cannot blame God for one's unbelief; this would be the logical corollary of the theory.
Whatever force is responsible for our existence is clearly not perfect -- just look around you. Perhaps the existence in a segment of the human population, of a gene which enhances the ability to perceive this force, is the beginnings of said force's attempts to help us lowly critters perceive more of the bigger things in the universe.