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And genes created religion
SMH ^ | Nov 15, 2004

Posted on 12/13/2004 3:17:20 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection

Religious belief is determined by a person's genetic make-up rather than by any divine intervention, according to a study.

After comparing more than 2000 DNA samples, the American geneticist who in the early 1990s claimed to have discovered the "gay gene" has concluded that a person's capacity to believe in God is linked to brain chemicals.

His findings have been criticised by clerics, who challenge the existence of a "god gene" and say 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, 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.

The Reverend Dr John Polkinghorne, a fellow of the Royal Society and a Canon Theologian at Liverpool Cathedral, said: "You can't cut faith down to the lowest common denominator of genetic survival. It shows the poverty of reductionist thinking."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: deanhamer; faith; genetics; god8gene

1 posted on 12/13/2004 3:17:20 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Religious belief is determined by a person's genetic make-up rather than by any divine intervention, according to a study.

So Islam can be explained away as a birth defect or something?

2 posted on 12/13/2004 3:18:32 PM PST by Prime Choice (I like Democrats, too. Let's exchange recipes.)
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To: Prime Choice

Does this tripe need to even be commented on?


3 posted on 12/13/2004 3:20:21 PM PST by Rocketman
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
...and God gave us the genes.

Selective genes based on our free will choice IMHO. LOL!

4 posted on 12/13/2004 3:20:42 PM PST by Jeff Head (www.dragonsfuryseries.com)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

Whatever. Kind of validates the Calvinist theory of Predestination though, doesn't it? Ain't got the gene? Burn, baby, burn.


5 posted on 12/13/2004 3:21:03 PM PST by johnb838 (To Hell They Will Go. Killmore.)
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To: Rocketman

It shouldn't except when mentioning the original proponent of the idea, who is a regular and much despised guest on the Art Bell Show.


6 posted on 12/13/2004 3:22:23 PM PST by RightWhale (Destroy the dark; restore the light)
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To: Prime Choice
OUCH! Hahahahahaha......:-)


7 posted on 12/13/2004 3:26:24 PM PST by Viking2002 (Taglines? Vikings don't need no steenkin' taglines..............)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Religious belief is determined by a person's genetic make-up rather than by any divine intervention, according to a study.

The fact that 90% of the earth's peoples have some form of religious belief can only mean that humans are hard-wired for religiosity. Probably for survival purposes.

8 posted on 12/13/2004 3:30:12 PM PST by Noachian (A Democrat, by definition, is a Socialist.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Dr Dean Hamer, director of the Gene Structure and Regulation Unit at the National Cancer Institute in America
_______________________________________________________________

I am so glad to see my money is being used for such important research that will doubtless save millions of lives any day now. Not only couldn't this genius not change a flat he couldn't even call AAA. Probably.
9 posted on 12/13/2004 3:30:37 PM PST by crazyhorse691 (We won. We don't need to be forgiving. Let the heads roll!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

So the Designer even thought of this one. Wow.


10 posted on 12/13/2004 3:33:48 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

Irresistible grace....the "I" in TULIP. Could be. Or it could be a load of crap; I could go either way on this one.


11 posted on 12/13/2004 3:36:57 PM PST by xjcsa (Everything matters if anything matters at all...)
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To: xjcsa

Maybe more directly "unconditional election", the "U" in TULIP.


12 posted on 12/13/2004 3:37:53 PM PST by xjcsa (Everything matters if anything matters at all...)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

Hey... I have a "good" gene nestled away in my brain.
Kinda sorta makes me a "good" Freeper... despite all
my strident efforts to be a "bad" boy (a ZotSnot) !!! ;-))


13 posted on 12/13/2004 3:39:23 PM PST by GeekDejure ( LOL = Liberals Obey Lucifer !!!)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

BTTT


14 posted on 12/13/2004 3:39:29 PM PST by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Religious belief is determined by a person's genetic make-up rather than by any divine intervention, according to a study.

If I had nickel for every hair-brained study to product ridiculous results ...
15 posted on 12/13/2004 3:40:22 PM PST by so_real (It's all about sharing the Weather)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

Once we learn to customise these genes we will be able to go to prisons, adjust the felons genes and turn them all loose, Since its obvious that robbers, rapists killers pedophiles and others arent responsible, its their genes.


16 posted on 12/13/2004 3:42:53 PM PST by sgtbono2002
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To: Rocketman

Amen! What a load! I can't believe the nerve of these idiots.


17 posted on 12/13/2004 3:45:20 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Rocketman

Yep. If we don't, then they will explain everything this way. so when a person is born the can say defective gene - abort it.


18 posted on 12/13/2004 3:47:21 PM PST by Nightshift (Ignorance on your part, doesn't require a reply on my part.)
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To: Prime Choice

"So Islam can be explained away as a birth defect or something?"

No, because islam is merely posing as religion. It is really a violent, expansionist political conquest movement.


19 posted on 12/13/2004 3:48:30 PM PST by truth_seeker
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

These people are so ignorant! Good grief! All they had to do was read the Bible and they could have figured out the truth.

"to every man is given THE MEASURE OF FAITH. It's spiritual not physical". And .. in Deut. 28-29, God said, "I've set before you this day blessing and cursing, now you choose".


20 posted on 12/13/2004 4:13:40 PM PST by CyberAnt (Where are the dem supporters? - try the trash cans in back of the abortion clinics.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

It's only a correlation. Maybe those people have a propensity to get a 'certainty squirt' in their brain--a biochemical cause of an emotional hindrance to skepticism, or to being able to accept ignorance. There is afterall an emotion associated with having gained an understanding of something. There is also an emotion associated with feeling ignorant. It is probably possible to feel the 'certainty' emotion, or inhibit the 'ignorance' emotion, biochemically and without reason.

However, it's unlikely to be SIMPLY a religion gene, or to result in any debilitating expression.


21 posted on 12/13/2004 4:14:41 PM PST by beavus
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To: beavus
It's only a correlation. Maybe those people have a propensity to get a 'certainty squirt' in their brain--a biochemical cause of an emotional hindrance to skepticism, or to being able to accept ignorance. There is afterall an emotion associated with having gained an understanding of something. There is also an emotion associated with feeling ignorant. It is probably possible to feel the 'certainty' emotion, or inhibit the 'ignorance' emotion, biochemically and without reason.

I agree! I've thought since an early age that the most passionate belivers in God are so afraid of uncertainty that they create God to fill in all the holes in our understanding of the world. I, OTOH, have always been just comfortable enough with my ignorance to work patiently to find a good explanation for a difficult question instead of leaping at the first comforting platitude.

22 posted on 12/13/2004 4:23:46 PM PST by jennyp (Latest creation/evolution news: http://crevo.bestmessageboard.com)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

The "sensational" part of this report strikes me as both trivial and obvious. Most of us know from personal experience that some people are more disposed to seek God than others, and it is hardly surprising that this behavior would have, in part, a genetic base. The same could be said of any other human proclivity. I am, at the moment, participating in a large scientific conference. I can assure you that the average person in this company differs significantly in both personality and physical appearance from the average fan at a Green Bay Packers game. And the biologists among them tend to have very different personalities than the physicists. Is there a genetic component to that? I would be shocked if there isn't. Perhaps the good doctor would be better employed in identifying the peculiar gene that led him to undertake this particular study (physician, know thyself!).
But, given the complexity of religious experience, and the complicated personalities of the people I happen to know, I would be equally shocked if a single gene is determinative. There are, in fact, people at this conference who be quite at home with the Packers, and I know many who have found God after a long life that showed no particular desire to do that.
The next step, of course, is to declare the "God gene" a defect, and religion a mental disease. I have long since ceased to be surprised at the "scientific" conclusions those of a certain political persuasion can reach. They are, I suspect, mentally ill due to the influence of defective genes.


23 posted on 12/13/2004 4:24:45 PM PST by troglodyte (troglodyte)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

These days, conclusions are made to conform with the funding.

When human faith can be expressed as a mathematical equasion, String Theory will be almost complete, except for the other sentient beings we have yet to be introduced to.

It boils down to pure science interfacing with the unproven facts we all have experienced.


24 posted on 12/13/2004 4:29:37 PM PST by Solamente
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Sounds like an excuse to me...

God says that no man will have one.
25 posted on 12/13/2004 4:43:43 PM PST by Safrguns
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: Noachian
The fact that 90% of the earth's peoples have some form of religious belief can only mean that humans are hard-wired for religiosity.

Religious belief has very little to do with religion really. Many people who are not religious exhibit the same kind of Kool-Aid drinking behavior being discussed here in other domains. Many liberals profess to having no religion but still have quasi-religious beliefs e.g. about environmentalism.

27 posted on 12/13/2004 4:49:39 PM PST by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
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To: Solamente

Wow.. I mean wow... I understand that there are people out there that can't believe that there is a way for Science and Religion to exist together, but now a God Gene?

So, does this mean that the liberals have to stop complaining about religion in the future because we were "born that way?"

What next? Liberal views based on DNA? Or is that DNC?


28 posted on 12/13/2004 4:59:55 PM PST by Atomicfever
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

And anyone who believes this crud tests positive for the gullibility gene.


29 posted on 12/13/2004 5:00:12 PM PST by IronJack (R)
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To: jennyp

If it's true, you could potentially put 'certainty' in pill form. Then we'd almost never learn anything. But, at least we'd be confident.


30 posted on 12/13/2004 5:01:05 PM PST by beavus
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To: Solamente
It boils down to pure science interfacing with the unproven facts we all have experienced.

The search for an end to the high order is infinite. Sounds more like materialists and secularists rather than physicists, biologists... Explain how DNA fits into their theories.

31 posted on 12/13/2004 5:10:02 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection (www.whatyoucrave.com)
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To: vishnu6
Who designed The Designer?

Hey, I'm simply jwalsh07, you're Vishnu.

32 posted on 12/13/2004 5:23:12 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: tortoise
Religious belief has very little to do with religion really. Many people who are not religious exhibit the same kind of Kool-Aid drinking behavior being discussed here in other domains. Many liberals profess to having no religion but still have quasi-religious beliefs e.g. about environmentalism.

And statism too. Their "faith" is impervious to all existing experience, and any future experience.

33 posted on 12/13/2004 5:23:17 PM PST by beavus
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Ps 14:1 "The fool has said in his heart there is no God."

Rom 1:18 "...and they suppress the truth in unrighteousness..."

34 posted on 12/13/2004 11:06:45 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Secularization of America is happening)
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