Skip to comments.And genes created religion
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."
So Islam can be explained away as a birth defect or something?
Does this tripe need to even be commented on?
Selective genes based on our free will choice IMHO. LOL!
Whatever. Kind of validates the Calvinist theory of Predestination though, doesn't it? Ain't got the gene? Burn, baby, burn.
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.
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.
So the Designer even thought of this one. Wow.
Irresistible grace....the "I" in TULIP. Could be. Or it could be a load of crap; I could go either way on this one.
Maybe more directly "unconditional election", the "U" in TULIP.
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) !!! ;-))
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.
Amen! What a load! I can't believe the nerve of these idiots.
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.
"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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
And anyone who believes this crud tests positive for the gullibility gene.
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.
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.
Hey, I'm simply jwalsh07, you're Vishnu.
And statism too. Their "faith" is impervious to all existing experience, and any future experience.
Rom 1:18 "...and they suppress the truth in unrighteousness..."
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