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  RE: virus: The god gene
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   Author  Topic: RE: virus: The god gene  (Read 952 times)
Blunderov
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RE: virus: The god gene
« on: 2004-11-15 07:44:13 »
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[Blunderov]Interesting too, from the logical point of view:

"I regard his claims as scientifically ridiculous. There is absolutely
no such thing as a god gene. The whole point is that god makes himself
available to all equally."

[Blunderov] (Restating a premise as a conclusion = circular argument.)

"Religion is not specifically restricted to one era, race or continent,
and the fact that it is so all-encompassing and widespread tends to
suggest it is not specifically related to our physical make-up."

[Blunderov] (In THIS universe I suggest that it does in fact suggest
exactly that. A non sequitur then - the conclusion is not actually
supported by the premise. In Bush-speak, reality control.)

Also the article is a good example of the journalistic impulse to
sensationalise stories. The introduction (completely out of the blue) of
the word "fanaticism" raises a perfectly gratuitous semantic issue. Is a
strongly held view necessarily a fanatical view? At what point on the
continuum of belief does this phase transition take place? Sadly, the
author does not favour us with this knowledge.

http://www.newkerala.com/news-daily/news/features.php?action=fullnews&id
=42662

Religious fanatic? Blame it on 'god gene':
[World News]: London, Nov 15 : "God genes" are responsible for creating
religious fanatics, says new scientific research - much to the chagrin
of church representatives.

The findings of Dean Hamer, director of the US National Cancer
Institute's Gene Structure and Regulation Unit, also claim that Jesus,
the Buddha and Prophet Mohammed are likely to have carried the gene.

The research has, however, been strongly criticised by members of the
church, reported the Scotsman newspaper published from Edinburgh. They
said the idea of people having a predisposition to faith simply displays
a failure to understand it.

Hamer, who attracted controversy in 1993 when he claimed to have found a
DNA sequence linked to male homosexuality, now says the presence of the
gene VMAT2, or the "god gene", explains why some people are more
spiritual than others.

The findings based on a study of 2,000 DNA samples and interviews with
volunteers, who answered 226 questions aimed at finding out how
spiritually in-tune they felt, have been published in a book named "The
God Gene: How Faith is Hard-Wired into our Genes".

According to it, the greater the volunteer's ability to believe in a
higher spiritual being, the more likely they are to have the VMAT2 gene.
The research also claims that being brought up in a devout environment
has little effect on belief.

"Buddha, Mohammed and Jesus all shared a series of mystical experiences
or alterations in consciousness, and thus probably carried the gene,"
Hamer 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."

But Donald Bruce, director of the Church of Scotland's Society,
Religious and Technology Project, Sunday called the research findings a
"publicity stunt".

"I regard his claims as scientifically ridiculous. There is absolutely
no such thing as a god gene. The whole point is that god makes himself
available to all equally."

According to him, Hamer had admitted this to him a year ago. "We were
both on the advisory board at the conference and I asked him if he
thought the book's title was irresponsible. Hamer agreed the words 'god
gene' as well as the book's title were misleading."

Peter Kearney, a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, said:
"Religion is not specifically restricted to one era, race or continent,
and the fact that it is so all-encompassing and widespread tends to
suggest it is not specifically related to our physical make-up."

http://news.scotsman.com/opinion.cfm?id=1316752004

A 'God gene', believe it or not


Are we predisposed to believe in God, or indeed to have a spiritual life
at all? According to Dr Dean Hamer, of the National Cancer Institute in
the United States, there is a "God gene" which predisposes those who
have it to religious belief. He also says it is likely that Jesus,
Buddha and Muhammad carried the gene. Predictably enough, none of this
cuts much ice with Dr Donald Bruce, director of the Church of Scotland's
society, religion and technology project, who says Dr Hamer admitted to
him at a conference in California last year that the term "God gene" was
primarily a stunt to boost sales. Clearly while Dr Bruce seems to
possess the belief gene, it does not appear to make him believe a word
of Dr Hamer.

Objective proof of the thesis is also difficult. The fact that one's
parents were religious believers does not apparently mean their
offspring will be, as Dr Hamer says the "God gene" can skip generations.
It might also be difficult to explain why (unless the gene is
hyper-active) religious belief is declining in the West but in the
ascendant in the Middle East. If our predisposition to religious belief
is a matter of DNA, why not our propensity to believe anything? And
what, then, is the point of Dr Hamer arguing the toss?

[Blunderov] Another rather feeble argument against the proposition which
glosses over the memetic affects in human society. Furthermore the
author seems to think that 'predispose' is equivalent in meaning to
'fate'. It actually means to bring about a susceptibility, by no means
the same thing.

Best Regards. 




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