The God gene
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05-04-2014, 05:19 PM
RE: The God gene
OP, are you MysticKnight from the Atheist Forums?
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05-04-2014, 05:53 PM
RE: The God gene
I'm pretty sure it's not a gene thing.

I do wonder though if some brains are either built to be more believing or to be more skeptical. Y'know, like how some minds are geared to more visual things and some minds are geared towards mathematical things. Kind of like that but except with how able someone is to "feel"/believe a supernatural thing. Does anyone get what I mean? Not saying that there is a supernatural but saying/wondering if there's some ways the brain develops/an area of the brain that deals with belief that determines how "religious" a person is? Or am I just sounding stupid?

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05-04-2014, 06:42 PM
RE: The God gene
Pretty much what Chas said. Why are you assuming a higher entity exists and there is something wrong with the people who can't communicate with it? Why can't it just be remnant evolutionary behaviors that go haywire in a modern world where there is no need for them?

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05-04-2014, 07:08 PM
RE: The God gene
(05-04-2014 05:53 PM)Miss Suzanne Wrote:  I'm pretty sure it's not a gene thing.

I do wonder though if some brains are either built to be more believing or to be more skeptical. Y'know, like how some minds are geared to more visual things and some minds are geared towards mathematical things. Kind of like that but except with how able someone is to "feel"/believe a supernatural thing. Does anyone get what I mean? Not saying that there is a supernatural but saying/wondering if there's some ways the brain develops/an area of the brain that deals with belief that determines how "religious" a person is? Or am I just sounding stupid?

I think your right. Just like there is an autism spectrum there may be a spectrum to how likely people are to believe in supernatural type things.
However I do think it boils down to over active pattern recognition like chaos said - some people morel likely to go for the spooky unicorns and gods.

See my prev post in this thread about the more philosophical analytical types and more emotive types of people - they will have different interpretations of religion and the supernatural.
"Analytical philosopher type" religious believers may end up leaning towards Platonism and various conceptual entities rather than a more secular philosophy such as aristotilianism.
Emotive types will end up thinking they are in love with Jesus and hating the devil singing kumbaya.....

Genetics may play a role - because our brains blue print has a genetic backbone, but far too reductionist due to so many other developmental factors involved, many from the environment. Even if it was genetics, multiple genes would be involved and cannot be pinned down in any simplistic way. (eg like sick cell anemia mutation)

...saying all that, we are discovering genes for example that may influence risk taking such as MAOA-L carriers. There are also genes which predispose towards schizophrenia - which can also have a spectrum of severity from mild auditory hallucinations to full blown cognitive impairment and hallucination. So it is quite plausible that a combination of these makes someone more likely to think they have a calling from some supernatural entity.

Eg lets say low on the autism spectrum, high in the pattern recognition, high in the schizophrenic and risk taking = A believing theist who thinks they have a gentle inner calling, see the patterns in their life & ignore any selection/confirmation bias and take the risk to follow their inner voice inferred to be God (oh no, it said sacrifice my son....)

What about highly emotive, low in the risk taking, high in the schizophrenic scale and prone to being compulsive ??? Might end up fearing demons and a very sheltered existence scared they will go to hell and not take any risks due to compulsive routines to seek comfort in the temple ???

The above examples are merely speculating because its going to be hard to prove such a hypothesis with out current genetic knowledge - but I think it is a reasonable hypothesis.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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05-04-2014, 10:37 PM
RE: The God gene
(04-04-2014 10:06 AM)mknight Wrote:  I often hear or read the response 'if you seek God, he will find you'. I have tried, genuinely tried to find this God ( along the same line, I tried to find ghosts and aliens and was even willing to entertain the idea of psychic abilities and of the afterlife) but...after all these years, nothing, nada. I started wondering if perhaps I was lacking the God gene (or the paranormal gene). What if that's it? What if some of us simply can't communicate with this entity?
Actually, according to "Clarke's third law" magic, ghosts, and paranormal events are all just advanced technology.
Also the "god gene" is real, but it's a psychological function/pattern of connections In your brain that sometimes you don't develop. It doesn't prove god exists. It actually proves that "god" is a mental construct.

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06-04-2014, 07:09 AM
RE: The God gene
Gullibility is linked to immature growth and or damage to the prefrontal lobe of your brain.

It could be a genetic thing that causes the chemicals or proteins that normally protect those nerves from damage to become less active in the prefrontal lobe.

I don't know

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06-04-2014, 08:03 PM
RE: The God gene
It is a range for factors: family, society, socio-economic status, etc.

However, there was some research on a "god" gene. An excerpt from my article, The Psychology of Faith:

Bering is referring to the study by geneticist, Dr. Dean Hamer, which was published in his book, The God Gene: How Faith Is Hardwired into our Genes. Like Bering, Hamer hypothesizes that having genetically programmed spiritual beliefs conveyed evolutionary advantages, such as those discussed above regarding optimism in the face of the inevitability of death. Without going into the scientific details or the controversies surrounding Hamer and his work, the general results that emerged in the study showed that 106 pairs out of 1,001 siblings had a variation in their VMAT2 genotype. In layman’s terms, these variations are in the locations of the A, C, G and T’s that makes up the genetic coding in our DNA. Hamer’s study found that “there was a clear association between the VMAT2 polymorphism and self-transcendence.” While one sibling with lower spirituality had an A in the target position, alternately:

Quote:Individuals with a C in their DNA—on either one chromosome or both—scored significantly higher than those with an A. The effect was greatest on the overall self-transcendence scale and was also significant for the self-forgetfulness subscale. With transpersonal identification and mysticism, the effect was in the same direction but just short of statistical significance.

http://diogenesofmayberry.com/2013/06/11...r-meaning/

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