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'God gene' discovered by scientist behind gay DNA theory (reader beware)
Telegraph ^ | 11/14/2004 | Elizabeth Day

Posted on 11/13/2004 7:47:12 PM PST by Former Military Chick

Religious belief is determined by a person's genetic make-up according to a study by a leading scientist.

After comparing more than 2,000 DNA samples, an American molecular geneticist has concluded that a person's capacity to believe in God is linked to brain chemicals.

His findings were criticised last night by leading clerics, who challenge the existence of a "god gene" and say that the research undermines a fundamental tenet of faith - that spiritual enlightenment is achieved through divine transformation rather than the brain's electrical impulses.

Dr Dean Hamer, the director of the Gene Structure and Regulation Unit at the National Cancer Institute in America, asked volunteers 226 questions in order to determine how spiritually connected they felt to the universe. The higher their score, the greater a person's ability to believe in a greater spiritual force and, Dr Hamer found, the more likely they were to share the gene, VMAT2.

Studies on twins showed that those with this gene, a vesicular monoamine transporter that regulates the flow of mood-altering chemicals in the brain, were more likely to develop a spiritual belief.

Growing up in a religious environment was said to have little effect on belief. Dr Hamer, who in 1993 claimed to have identified a DNA sequence linked to male homosexuality, said the existence of the "god gene" explained why some people had more aptitude for spirituality than others.

"Buddha, Mohammed and Jesus all shared a series of mystical experiences or alterations in consciousness and thus probably carried the gene," he said. "This means that the tendency to be spiritual is part of genetic make-up. This is not a thing that is strictly handed down from parents to children. It could skip a generation - it's like intelligence."

His findings, published in a book, The God Gene: How Faith Is Hard-Wired Into Our Genes, were greeted sceptically by many in the religious establishment.

The Rev Dr John Polkinghorne, a fellow of the Royal Society and a Canon Theologian at Liverpool Cathedral, said: "The idea of a god gene goes against all my personal theological convictions. You can't cut faith down to the lowest common denominator of genetic survival. It shows the poverty of reductionist thinking."

The Rev Dr Walter Houston, the chaplain of Mansfield College, Oxford, and a fellow in theology, said: "Religious belief is not just related to a person's constitution; it's related to society, tradition, character - everything's involved. Having a gene that could do all that seems pretty unlikely to me."

Dr Hamer insisted, however, that his research was not antithetical to a belief in God. He pointed out: "Religious believers can point to the existence of god genes as one more sign of the creator's ingenuity - a clever way to help humans acknowledge and embrace a divine presence."

13 October 2004: Homosexual link to fertility genes


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: deanhamer; dna; faithandphilosophy; genetics; godgene; hamer; junkscience; religious; spirituality
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To: Santana

Looks like you and I had the same thought at about the same time. Romans 1 certainly does debunk a LOT of arguments.


41 posted on 11/13/2004 8:06:17 PM PST by mombonn ( íViva Bush/Cheney! Dukakis and Kerry are the matching bookends of the Bush era.)
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To: speedy

Since the vast majority of people profess a belief in God, does that mean that people who do not are defective?


42 posted on 11/13/2004 8:06:38 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (God is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: airborne

Dr. Dean Hamer was born in Montclair, N.J. He received his B.A. from Trinity College, Connecticut and his Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School . He has worked at the National Institutes of Health for 24 years, where he is currently the Chief of the Section on Gene Structure and Regulation in the Laboratory of Biochemistry of the National Cancer Institute.


43 posted on 11/13/2004 8:07:22 PM PST by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: durasell

BS ...... pure BS....


44 posted on 11/13/2004 8:08:17 PM PST by Gibtx (Pajamahadien call to arms.....)
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To: durasell

Not everyone chooses the path of least resistance. People have died for causes for thousands of years when it would have been easier to choose an easier lifestyle. That said, not all hard paths are equal. Nor do they lead to the same place...


45 posted on 11/13/2004 8:08:23 PM PST by LearnsFromMistakes (Iowa - back home in the red.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

I think you may be on to something. Perhaps, thanks to this study, atheism may be categorized as a disease. Of course, that would give them victim status. Hmmm -- maybe we shouldn't go there.


46 posted on 11/13/2004 8:09:40 PM PST by speedy
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To: LearnsFromMistakes

No, but I have gay friends who have confided in me that it isn't a choice. And that all things being equal, they would rather not be gay.


48 posted on 11/13/2004 8:10:18 PM PST by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: Former Military Chick
Hamer's got an agenda. He couldn't find the "gay gene" so now it's onward to the "God gene". He's not a good scientist, because he has his own personal problems that skew his research. The God Gene (New book by Dr. Dean Hamer)(He failed to find the "Gay Gene").
49 posted on 11/13/2004 8:11:18 PM PST by xJones
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To: Former Military Chick

Indeed there may be a religious gene, "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His son...and those He predestined He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified He also glorified." Romans 8:29-30


50 posted on 11/13/2004 8:11:54 PM PST by Vor Lady
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To: durasell

Being 'out' is so 'in' right now...


52 posted on 11/13/2004 8:12:50 PM PST by LearnsFromMistakes (Iowa - back home in the red.)
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To: Former Military Chick

I have discovered a gene that controls a predisposition to bratwurst, beer, and ice fishing. All my test subjects live in Wisconsin so the data may be a little skewed.


54 posted on 11/13/2004 8:14:03 PM PST by Honcho Bongs
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To: Honcho Bongs

LOL!!


55 posted on 11/13/2004 8:14:57 PM PST by Vor Lady
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To: Former Military Chick
Buddha, Mohammed and Jesus all shared a series of mystical experiences or alterations in consciousness and thus probably carried the gene

...yup, that's SCIENCE alright. (/sarcasm off)

56 posted on 11/13/2004 8:15:15 PM PST by spitlana
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Comment #58 Removed by Moderator

To: Honcho Bongs

And don't forget dem Packers!


59 posted on 11/13/2004 8:18:00 PM PST by Santana (Proud aunt of niece serving in Iraq)
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Comment #60 Removed by Moderator


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