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Faith in God is down to your genes says Researcher

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Whether or not you are religious and believe in God is down to your genes, says Dean Hamer, National Cancer Institute's Gene Structure Regulation Unit, USA. He reckons Jesus, Mohammed (the prophet) and Buddha probably carried the ‘God Gene' in them.

Church representatives have criticised Dean Hamer's findings. Church representatives say Hamer fails to understand exactly what faith is and what it entails. This is not the first time Hamer has come out with controversial findings.

news icon View: Full Article | Source: Medical News Today

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Erikl

That's quite a rubbish....

There are many examples of super-secular people who became super-foundamentalists.... one example comes to mind is Osama Bin Laden, once a western playboy who enjoyed alky, babes and high speed sport cars, then a wierdo who hides in caves in the desert and explodes buildings and mass-murdering thousands in the name of Allah blink.gif...

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Shadowsleet

hmm....you know, our genes do determine absolutely everything about us so....I suppose it is possibly that our genes, though they might not dictate whether or not we're religion exactly, might determine our susceptibility to the religion mythologies, and just generally believing what’s funneled into our ears.

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Erikl

Gense might determine some of our charecteristics, but there are also enviromental variables which determine what kind of person you will be.

If you seperate idetincal twins, which are de-facto clones of eachother and are identical in any genetic aspect, and make sure they'll live a different lives, they will grow to be very different. One might be fat, the other might have glasses, one can be taller (because of better nutrition or body building), the other can be weaker and less massive. One might have a beard and a long hair, the other one not.

One might be an extreme communist, the other neo-conservative.

Belifes and ideas are determined by our soruondings.

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Mad Manfred

Yeah, I'd agree with him on the homosexuality part (I'm not homophobic, my uncle is gay) though religion being based on our genetic makeup is ridiculous.

Seems like he's just a potstirrer.

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Erikl

I also don't agree 100% regarding homosexuality being a genetic thing alone.

It is a matter of the mind, and so it is possible to become homosexual (in my opinion) from some childhood trauma or something like this.

Not all is genetic, and when it comes to our brains, the border between genes and enviromental variables is vert blur.

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Mrs.Kahalioumi

Well... That is interesting. I suppose it could be partly true. Perhaps that gene makes us more open to religious theroy? But, the one gift that God gave each and every one of us... (I believe...) is free agency... The right to choose. But I know there are those out there who believe in pre-destiny... Maybe that explains a bit of that too? I guess, right down to it, it could go both ways.

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Nxt2Hvn
I also don't agree 100% regarding homosexuality being a genetic thing alone.

It is a matter of the mind, and so it is possible to become homosexual (in my opinion) from some childhood trauma or something like this.

Not all is genetic, and when it comes to our brains, the border between genes and enviromental variables is vert blur.

358497[/snapback]

I don't believe that homosexuality is in the genes or in the mind.. I believe it is in the harmonal make up. Nor do I think that someone turns "Gay" just because of their surroundings or how they are brought up.

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Shadowsleet
Gense might determine some of our charecteristics, but there are also enviromental variables which determine what kind of person you will be.

I didn't say it determines it outright...I said it might influence it. Certainly, a person brought up in a religious background is more likely to be religious in later life, simply because of exposure to it...however, it's not impossible that genetics influence exactly how much you are influences and swayed by this exposure.

It's not just religion, it could apply to anything...I can listen to a Bush speach, for example, and think "more rhetoric slogans than substance"...others think "what a timeless quotation! He's the best President ever!"

Some people are more gullible and open to suggestion than others...and there has to be some reason for it. The genes are the starting point of just about everything tongue.gif

If you seperate idetincal twins, which are de-facto clones of eachother and are identical in any genetic aspect, and make sure they'll live a different lives, they will grow to be very different.

You mention physical changes...but religious beliefs are not a physical thing at all.

Most cases of seperated twins, and studies of twins in general reveal that they are very similar in a mental capacity. In fact, it's even been shown that twins raised seperately often end up with similar career persuits, simply because their genes have given them similar likes, dislikes, and aspirations. There are a great many studies on twins that mark far more deep rooted genetic similarities than whether or not one has a beard tongue.gif

Edited by Shadowsleet

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Vox

I agree with Erikl. How will genes make people more susceptible to religion? Religion in theory is philosophy, which is a man made science, so as a consequence how can an embryo be coded for such activity? The reason people are good at science, mathematics etc. is not because they inherited a singular gene that made them so, but a cocktail of intrinsic factors such as spatial awareness, patterning, etc. So how can a gene influence whether you are religious or not? It's like saying that it is in your genes to like the colour blue. I also agree that homosexuality is not a genetic factor but a hormonal imbalance, if the hormonal imbalance came as a consequence of a genetic transcription error which for arguments sake state that a man is attracted to another mans pheromones (speculation here people!) then you could get away by saying there is a genetic factor. What I am implying is that there isn't a singular 'gay' gene or 'science' gene or... you get the picture.

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Stellar
Gense might determine some of our charecteristics, but there are also enviromental variables which determine what kind of person you will be.

Yes but ur genes will determin how you react to that environmental variable.

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Deimos

I think that's BS. Everyone blames what people think or do on their genes. Nobody wants to take responsibility anymore. Besides, you can choose whether or not to believe in God. there are people that stop believing in God, and there are people that start believing in Him when they didn't believe before. The problem with people is that they try to take credit for everything by explaining things scientifically, no one gives the True Creator any credit anymore.

Edited by Monster Hunter X

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Erikl

LOL monster thumbsup.gif

You nailed it though - this "geneticmania" that finds a gene to any craze behavior of us humans is an absurd - true, genes do say alot about who you gonna be, they there is alot of un-genetic variables to it, as well.

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Seraphina
It's like saying that it is in your genes to like the colour blue.

But....it is huh.gif Every single bit of information that makes up "you" is encoded into your genes...how you will react to various stimuli, environments, and outside factors that you'll encounter.

Behavour is determined largly by hormone levels...which is in turn determined by what your genes instruct your cells to make. I agree wholeheartedly with Shady on this one...it's far from impossible that your genes to impact, even if in a small way, upon a person's likelyhood of falling into the religion beartrap.

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Kismit

Actually the study undertaken by Genetisist Dean Hammer and his team pointed quite strongly toward a difference in the Gene VMAT2, (which stands for 'vesicular monoamine transporter no. 2), of non-believers and believers of all religious up bringings.

Manomines are the chemicals in the brain which produce emotional sensation . So it stands to reason that if your manomines , dopomines or endorphines react to a feeling of one-ness with the universe you will turn toward the more spiritual side of life . These chemicals are quite addictive after all .

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Deimos

okay but if this gene excuse flies, then no one will ever be responsible for anytinhg. just imagine if someone killed you parents, and they didn't go to jail because it was in their genes to kill somebody? It's ridiculous

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Kismit

No the act of commiting a murder would still be down to individual responsibility , genetically maybe you may be more prone to violent out bursts but if you act on these impulses you exhibit free will and there for show a responsibility of the crime.

All the Gene study does is point out that people with a greater belief in spiritual things put this particular gene to more use .

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Deimos
Actually the study undertaken by Genetisist Dean Hammer and his team pointed quite strongly toward a difference in the Gene VMAT2, (which stands for 'vesicular monoamine transporter no. 2), of non-believers and believers of all religious up bringings.

Manomines are the chemicals in the brain which produce emotional sensation  . So it stands to reason that if your manomines , dopomines or endorphines react to a feeling of one-ness with the universe you will turn toward the more spiritual side of life . These chemicals are quite addictive after all .

359183[/snapback]

I have to disagree. The WHOLE point of religion is faith. Believing in something even if you can't prove it. I know non-religious people with religious parents. It depends on certain factors, but ultimately it's the persons choice.Imagine this scenario: A very religious couple has a baby, but they give it up for adoption. The adopting parents don't have any religion, and they NEVER educate their adopted child about religion. Now, will the child be religious? The gene argument says that the child SHOULD be because the childs parents were, but if they've never had a chance to know what religion is, how can they be religious? It's like saying if 2 really smart people have a baby, and don't educate it, then the child should still grow up smart. It all comes down to the choices we make, not our genes.

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Deimos
No the act of commiting a murder would still be down to individual responsibility , genetically maybe you may be more prone to violent out bursts but if you act on these impulses you exhibit free will and there for show a responsibility of the crime.

All the Gene  study does is point out that people with a greater belief in spiritual things put this particular gene to more use .

359424[/snapback]

Yes, I can see that, but the reason religious people use more of this gene is because of the Religion. Imagine this: say there is someone who doesn't believe in God. Examine their brain. then, if they truly convert to believing in Him, then examine their brain and the chemicals it produces. The VMAT2 gene will probably show up mroe increased becasue it's the persons response to being religious. That study doesn't tell us anytihng new. It's like me saying your brain produces more stimulant chemicals when you are happy than when you are sad. and of course it's obvious. the study doesn't tell us anything new. they are using more of the gene because of their response to being religious. It makes them more "At One" with the world. but the geneticist is saying that if you believe in God, it's because of your genes. the REAL answer is that our brains produce the chemical more because of the Belief in God. It's like me saying whether or not you are happy depends on if your brain produces stimulants. the real answer to that is You are producing the stimulants as a response to being happy.

Edited by Monster Hunter X

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Seraphina

I think, Mr X, you're missing the point a little tongue.gif

What this study, and Shady, Kismit and myself have tried to point out to you is that, though it's true your genes may not give you any hard and fast definition of your religious beliefs, they can and probably do cause you to tend towards them.

Why do you think all you guys find a beautiful women attractive? tongue.gif If it's all down to choice, then why on earth do 90% of men grade physical attractiveness in the same way? Because your genes tell you to tongue.gif It's coded into your genetic code to know that a low fat to body ratio and a nice tight bum indicate a woman will bear children tongue.gif

Women, on the other hand, like broad shoulders and muscles, because they know their man can then chase down large animals, beat them senseless, and serve up lunch for all the family tongue.gif Though either of the above examples can vary from person to person, the overall pattern remains much the same...In a great many things, free will is a bit of an illusion.

Now, on to your example...

A very religious couple has a baby, but they give it up for adoption. The adopting parents don't have any religion, and they NEVER educate their adopted child about religion. Now, will the child be religious? The gene argument says that the child SHOULD be because the childs parents were, but if they've never had a chance to know what religion is, how can they be religious?

Well...for a start, there's no absolute guarentee that this gene is an inherited condition...however, if we're to assume that it is, then don't be ridiculous tongue.gif Of course the child wouldn't grow up to be deeply religious without any religious input into its life....it may, however, end up being extremely spiritual in other ways, and supersticious (like believing in ghosts, magic, UFOs, and other such things). Or it might not...after all, all that's being proposed is that the presense of this gene makes spiritual beliefs appeal to people more...not that it gives them a pair of dog tags, and dumps them in a specific area tongue.gif

the REAL answer is that our brains produce the chemical more because of the Belief in God. It's like me saying whether or not you are happy depends on if your brain produces stimulants. the real answer to that is You are producing the stimulants as a response to being happy.

I find myself far, far more happy being an athiest, and feeling the course of my life is mine to shape, and that it is perfectly safe to allow my children to make the same choice I did, than I would if I thought I was going to get struck down, and my children turned into pillars of salt, by an invisible being in the sky tongue.gif

If I did believe in god, I'd find him a pretty scary guy, bording on psycopathic tendancies tongue.gif Others on the other hand, who do actually believe in him, think he's wonderful....

So why do I think one way, and they think the other? tongue.gif Easy, my genes tell me to...just like some people are programmed to respond better to the colour blue than others, some people are programmed to respond better to the idea of a diety than I am tongue.gif It's that simple.

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Deimos

Yeah, I had a little bit of a hard time explaining it. But that's the point of religion Seraphina. It's believing in God even when your religion is put to the test. And the point of faith is believing in something you can't prove. Yes, I believe life is easier without religion, because there is less responsibility, but I believe that a religious life IS harder, but it's more rewarding.

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Seraphina

You know, I always hear this "there's less responsibility if you're not religious" arguement...and you know...it's complete rubbish huh.gif

God made mankind supreme rulers of the world, free to do with it and its inhabitants whatever it pleased huh.gif

I believe it's mankind's responsibility to preserve the environment, and try and repopulate dwindling species of animal tongue.gif

God made mankind live by a strict morale code.

I make myself live by a strict morale code, that I had to shape according to my own beliefs of right and wrong tongue.gif

God tells us what is "right and wrong" in those around us...such as homosexuality being "sinful".

I decided for myself the balance of right and wrong, and what I should or should not expect from my fellow human beings...one thing I show a good deal more of than fundamentalist religion is tollerance of others tongue.gif

I just don't understand how people can claim not being religious makes a person less "responsible"...it doesn't make any sense at all tongue.gif Do religious people honestly think that athiests run around in an orgy of sin, doing whatever they want, when they want, why they want?

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Stellar

Let me try to put it simply. The code of a programme instructs the programme to show the number "1" if the user inputs his name, and a "2" if the user inputs his age. The user then inputs his name, and the programme shows the number 1. The code is the equivalent of genes. Its the code that determins how the program reacts to external influence, just as genes determin how you will react to external stimulation.

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Noob Siabot

Humans aren't machines in that everything is preprogrammed. Like my man Monster Hunter X said, it's about choices. In this day and age, everything is being linked to genes. By blaming genes, we take resposibiltiy off the individual and onto the genes. It's just another excuse to say, "Oh, it's not my fault, it's my genes." I mean come on, is it in our genes to beleive in Santa? Or is it in our genes to beleive in science? I mean just cause science says something doesn't mean it's true. Take black holes for example. NASA shows a computer-generated image of one, and suddenly everyone believes it. How do we know they exists? We dont. But people have too much faith in science. So science says believing in God is in our genes, so that implies that there is no God. Oh yeah, I forgot, science is the new god because whatever science says goes. This whole concept of genes controling our faith is pointless and dumb. As a final example, take thoughts for example. Try and prove that ideas exist. I mean really prove it. Yeah, you can study a person's brain and see chemical reactions and electrical activity, but what makes it any different from something else? I mean, we have ideas, we know they exists, yet we can't prove it. Same thing with faith. If you beleive in God it's because you know He exists and beleive in him although you can't prove it. Saying it's because of our genes is rubbish (no offense to anyone).

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Stellar
Humans aren't machines in that everything is preprogrammed.

No, but we have "code" which dictates who and what we are.

Like my man Monster Hunter X said, it's about choices.

And in the end, what governs those choices?

In this day and age, everything is being linked to genes.

Because genes ARE responsible for pretty much everything in the end.

By blaming genes, we take resposibiltiy off the individual and onto the genes.

I wouldnt look at it that way. I hate when people say "Im fat cuz it runs in the family... so I cant do anything about it!"

Even though it may be true, it doesnt mean you cant do anything about it.

It's just another excuse to say, "Oh, it's not my fault, it's my genes."

Even though people are using that excuse and you dont like it, it doesnt make it any less true.

I mean come on, is it in our genes to beleive in Santa?

In the end, yes. Because of what we are, and our "code", children are in a way, gullible, which facilitates learning, but also the "code" influences a child to believe what they're told, so if they're told about Santa, and they see it everywhere portrayed as if hes real, the child is going to believe in it.

Or is it in our genes to beleive in science?

Yes. Its similar to the case above.

I mean just cause science says something doesn't mean it's true.

Just cuz you say it isnt true and dont want it to be true doesnt mean it isnt.

Take black holes for example. NASA shows a computer-generated image of one, and suddenly everyone believes it. How do we know they exists? We dont.

Hell, we cant be sure that you even exist. There is evidence supporting black holes though. Maybe you're thinking of wormholes?

But people have too much faith in science.

First of all, its not faith. Second of all, are we supposed to disbelieve everything, even though evidence shows something to be the case, or a possible case?

So science says believing in God is in our genes, so that implies that there is no God.

How? Thats along the same line of thinking as saying "Well, if evolution happened, that means that theres no god." which is completely false.

Oh yeah, I forgot, science is the new god because whatever science says goes.

Please. You know thats not the case.

This whole concept of genes controling our faith is pointless and dumb.

Really? I guess studies into biology back in the middle ages was pointless and dumb too? I guess studies into the origines of manking was pointless and dumb too?

As a final example, take thoughts for example. Try and prove that ideas exist. I mean really prove it. Yeah, you can study a person's brain and see chemical reactions and electrical activity, but what makes it any different from something else?

We're not even completely sure of how the brain works yet... pick something else.

Same thing with faith. If you beleive in God it's because you know He exists and beleive in him although you can't prove it.

Nope, its because you *believe* he exists. If you know he exists, you wouldnt need much faith, would you?

Saying it's because of our genes is rubbish (no offense to anyone).

Again, the only thing that's rubbish is you saying its rubbish.

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