It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Study Links Spread of Religion With 'Believer Gene'.

page: 1
5

log in

join
share:

posted on Apr, 2 2012 @ 08:32 PM
link   
O.k I know this will cause plenty of controversy within the religious community here on ATS, I am aware that this thread at some point will be full of scripture post, a possible "devils work" sentence, and maybe even a "all atheists" think that way thrown in.

That's ok. I have noticed that though this used to derail threads, and even stop many non religious people to let the thread die, this has been happening less and less, and those that are serious about their belief whether pro or con religion have been sticking to their guns.

I thought that I would present the following info, for both parties, to ponder. There admittingly has to be a connection between those that believe and those that dont, and this may in fact bring a third option into the equation.

Study Links Spread of Religion With 'Believer Gene'

Rowthorn suggests that people with strong religious beliefs tend to have more children and that this, combined with a genetic predisposition to believe, can explain the expansion of religion.

The academic cites the World Values Survey in 82 nations from 1981 to 2004, which found that people who attended religious services more than once a week had an average of 2.5 children; those who never attended averaged only 1.67.

"The more devout people are," Rowthorn wrote, "the more children they are likely to have."

This, coupled with a "genetic endowment" that his theory ascribes to strong believers, could mean the spread of faith across the broad sweep of the population.

As one example of a rapidly growing religious community, Rowthorn cited the explosion of the Old Order Amish population in the United States, from 123,000 in 1991 to 249,000 in 2010.

In practice, Rowthorn said, many people leave their childhood religions behind, or marry outside them and have less children, thus slowing the spread of the "believer's gene."

But the genetic disposition remains so strong that "the religiosity gene will eventually predominate," and a significant increase in religious believers should still be on the cards, Rowthorn suggests.

www.huffingtonpost.com...

Genes contribute to religious inclination

Genes may help determine how religious a person is, suggests a new study of US twins. And the effects of a religious upbringing may fade with time.

Until about 25 years ago, scientists assumed that religious behaviour was simply the product of a person's socialisation - or "nurture". But more recent studies, including those on adult twins who were raised apart, suggest genes contribute about 40% of the variability in a person's religiousness.

But it is not clear how that contribution changes with age. A few studies on children and teenagers - with biological or adoptive parents - show the children tend to mirror the religious beliefs and behaviours of the parents with whom they live. That suggests genes play a small role in religiousness at that age.

Now, researchers led by Laura Koenig, a psychology graduate student at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, US, have tried to tease apart how the effects of nature and nurture vary with time. Their study suggests that as adolescents grow into adults, genetic factors become more important in determining how religious a person is, while environmental factors wane.

www.newscientist.com...

There is a term called Apophenia, that is overlooked in many a field, including religion amongst others.

Religion

The attempt to foretell the future, present, or past by finding patterns in animal entrails, tossed sticks, or by picking random passages from a holy text are often cited as examples of apophenia. A more extreme example is the pareidolia associated with finding the faces of religious figures in pieces of toast, the grain of cut wood, or other such patterns.[7]

Recent real-world examples include the finding of a cross inside a halved potato;[8] the appearance of Jesus and Mary inside a halved orange;[9] and the appearance of Jesus' face on a piece of toast,[10] in the frost on a car window,[11] and inside the lid of a jar of Marmite

en.wikipedia.org...

Evolutionary psychology of religion

Religion as an adaptation

Richard Sosis and Candace Alcorta have reviewed several of the prominent theories for the adaptive value of religion.[2] Many are "social solidarity theories", which view religion as having evolved to enhance cooperation and cohesion within groups. Group membership in turn provides benefits which can enhance an individual's chances for survival and reproduction.

These social solidarity theories may help to explain the painful or dangerous nature of many religious rituals. Costly-signaling theory suggests that such rituals might serve as public and hard to fake signals that an individual's commitment to the group is sincere. Since there would be a considerable benefit in trying to cheat the system - taking advantage of group living benefits without taking on any possible costs - the ritual would not be something simple that can be taken lightly.[2] Warfare is a good example of a cost of group living, and Richard Sosis, Howard C. Kress, and James S. Boster carried out a cross-cultural survey which demonstrated that men in societies which engage in war do submit to the costliest rituals.[3]

Justin L. Barrett in Why Would Anyone Believe in God? suggests that belief in God is natural because it depends on mental tools possessed by all human beings. He suggests that the way our minds are structured and develop make belief in the existence of a supreme god with properties such as being superknowing, superpowerful and immortal highly attractive. He also compares belief in God to belief in other minds, and devotes a chapter to looking at the evolutionary psychology of atheism. He suggests that one of the fundamental mental modules in the brain is the Hyperactive Agency Detection Device (HADD), another potential system for identifying danger. This HADD may confer a survival benefit even if it is over-sensitive: it is better to avoid an imaginary predator than be killed by a real one. This would tend to encourage belief in ghosts and spirits.[11]

en.wikipedia.org...

Just a bit to think about.

Peace, NRE.




posted on Apr, 2 2012 @ 09:06 PM
link   
reply to post by NoRegretsEver
 


Personally I believe that belief in religion is nothing more than social and psychological conditioning/brainwashing.



posted on Apr, 2 2012 @ 09:12 PM
link   
I wonder if this is related to another video I found today? Anyways here is the video:

It was on Infowars, and they said it might not be valid. What disturbs me is that it says it is from 2005. Maybe this is part of the New World Order plan to exterminate all the world's religions and fit them into one?



posted on Apr, 2 2012 @ 09:22 PM
link   
reply to post by questforevidence
 


Ive seen that video, and as far as I understand ( some ATS opinion's ) it has been debunked.

But.......... here is what I found while making this thread, and I watched your clip again, and heard something that I happen to pass while writing this.


Biological mechanisms causing religiosity
See also: Neurotheology

The God gene hypothesis proposes that a specific gene (VMAT2) predisposes humans towards spiritual or mystic experiences. Proponent Dean Hamer see this predisposition as increasing optimism which has positive effects on other factors such as health and reproductive success.

en.wikipedia.org...

In that clip he clearly makes reference to the VMAT2 gene. Of course there will be lots of winding roads that lead to no where, especially when things like this come out into the open. So I currently have my eyes and ears open to the video you presented, and have not fully dismissed it as of yet.

There are tons of references to the gene, and not many on the video.

Peace, NRE.



posted on Apr, 2 2012 @ 09:35 PM
link   

edit on 2/4/12 by troubleshooter because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 2 2012 @ 11:19 PM
link   
This news of a genetic inclination to be a "believer" comes as a shock to me for two reasons. First, I would never have figured that such was genetic based. (Do we have proof of this attribute?)

Second, it directly suggests that gene was intentionally configured to have us believe in something out there.

Heretofore, belief has been saddled with all manner of mystical religions designed and implemented by men upon men. Now with religions fading across the Western world if not generally across the planet, we can suspect that this belief inclination will turn to a science-based belief that there are superior beings out there still, but if they sit on thrones they are pilot's chairs in UFOs.

In their creating us to accept believing and giving us religions in the process to tide us over the long haul, they have set us up for accepting them when they come..

Don't assume that acceptance means the same as were our responses in old concepts of an almighty god, but as a belief in a positive force being out there and capable of helping humans. In other words, some of that "junk DNA" has a distinct, positive influence upon human life, and it ain't no accident of nature.
edit on 2-4-2012 by Aliensun because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 2 2012 @ 11:30 PM
link   
What I found interesting was that we had this gene, and only now are we (kind of ) discussing it, and how we have not a flaw, but something that can be led. I think by seeing this in a different light it can explain a bit about the differences amongst those that are religious and those that are not.

Peace, NRE.



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 01:22 AM
link   
Is there also a gene that makes people "unbelievers", or inclined away from religion and spirituality?



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 01:55 AM
link   
reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 


This is merely my assumption, but I think that this gene works both way, some have it and others dont.

Peace, NRE.



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 06:45 AM
link   
I wanted to give this a bump before I stepped out. I am sure that there are members that would like to weigh in on this. Looking forward to reading some responses later.


Peace, NRE.



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 08:52 AM
link   

Originally posted by NoRegretsEver
reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 


This is merely my assumption, but I think that this gene works both way, some have it and others dont.

Peace, NRE.


That possibility exists without question. We well know that one can have non-necessary genes for various aspects of phyical and mental conditions. We also know today that genes can be and are manipulated for a desired result. It is a simple matter of wet mechanics. Given a desired product, the engineer would insert the proper code into the human program.

We can go further and project that certain physica,l environmental triggers, for example, such as a dramatic increase in background nuclear radiation could cause structural changes in brain activity in some people(physically and mentally) that would envoke responses tailored to lay in wait for just such a moment. Some of those unrecognizable bits of "junk DNA" may have a definite and most obscure purpose. (Small amounts of mercury in the human system is considered by many to cause autism. That is a poor example of my contention, but it gets the concept across.)



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 11:46 AM
link   


How Human Nature Gave Birth to Religion
When something appears in every known society, as religion does, the question of whether it is “in the genes” naturally arises. Did religion confer such benefits on our distant ancestors that genes favoring it spread by natural selection?

There are scientists who believe the answer is yes—enough of them, in fact, to give rise to headlines like this one, in a Canadian newspaper: “Search continues for ‘God gene.’”

Expect to see that headline again, for the search is unlikely to reach a successful conclusion. And that isn’t just because, obviously, no single gene could undergird something as complex as religion. Things don’t look good even for the more nuanced version of the “God gene” idea—that a whole bunch of genes were preserved by natural selection because they inclined people toward religion.

Oddly, this verdict—that religion isn’t in any straightforward sense “in the genes”—emerges from evolutionary psychology, a field that has been known to emphasize genetic influences on thought and emotion.

Though some evolutionary psychologists think religion is a direct product of natural selection, many—and probably most—don’t.
This doesn’t mean religion isn’t in any sense “natural,” and it doesn’t mean religion isn’t in some sense “in the genes.”

Everything people do is in some sense in the genes. (Try doing something without using any genes.) What’s more, we can trace religion to specific parts of human nature that are emphatically in the genes. It’s just that those parts of human nature seem to have evolved for some reason other than to sustain religion.

This is from the Appendix in Robert Wright's The Evolution of God

To shift back into less technical terminology: you might say that we were “designed” by natural selection to feel love and awe and joy and fear. (So long as you understand that “designed” is a metaphor; natural selection isn’t like a human designer who consciously envisions the end product and then realizes it, but is rather a blind, dumb process of trial and error.)

But to say that these emotions are a product of “design” isn’t to say that when they’re activated by religion they’re working as “designed.”
Similarly, humans were “designed” by natural selection to be able to run and were also “designed” to feel competitive spirit, but that doesn’t mean they were “designed” to participate in track meets. Religion, like track, doesn’t seem to be an “adaptation.” Both seem to be what the paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould called a “spandrel”—a phenomenon supported by genes that had become part of the species by doing something other than supporting that phenomenon. A spandrel is an incidental by-product of the organic “design” process, whereas an adaptation is a direct product. Religion seems to be a spandrel.


A spandrel. A phenomenon (religion) supported by genes that had been developed through evolution by doing something else than the phenomenon (religion).

Good thread! S/F!
edit on 3-4-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 11:58 AM
link   
It's a fascinating question, to be sure. Nevertheless -- there have always been people who apparently lack the gene / propensity / desire for religion or "belief," and that is also very interesting.

Robert Anton Wilson (Philosopher / Writer) proposed that the world was divided into two basic camps of human beings, Homo Neophilus, who seek novelty and eschew tradition, and Homo Neophobus, who love tradition and resist change. Perhaps there is actually a genetic basis?

I know that I lack whatever is required to support "faith" in gods, ghosts, or even UFO's. I find all three "interesting," and love to discuss / study / read about other peoples experiences, but though I have been "blessed" with a very active and creative imagination, I have never been able to make the leap from fantasy to belief.

I have nothing against those that do however, and wish them well, so long as they make no attempt to legislate their belief system in my reality.



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 05:16 PM
link   
Thanks for you guy's replies this indeed should help with the understanding on both sides what is completely needed.

Peace, NRE.



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 05:31 PM
link   
reply to post by NoRegretsEver
 


If there is a belief gene than this gene likely infects 90% of the population as even many non-religious folks have SOME kind of supernatural or superstitious beliefs. What physiological change would this gene reflect? A re-wiring of brain chemistry?

What about all the folks that are lifelong believers but then end up atheists? There are even people who are pastors for decades who end up questioning it all and lose their religion. Is a genetic switch being flipped allowing them to see religion as absurd?

I don't think there can be any easy answers when it comes to religious belief, it seems like superstition in general is ubiquitous among human beings and that the development of that superstitious tendency into religion has more to do with nurture than nature.
edit on 3-4-2012 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 11:29 PM
link   
reply to post by NoRegretsEver
 


THE FAKE UNITED NATIONS MANMADE ISREAL IS THE ABOMINATIONS THAT CAUSE DESOLATION:
Ezekiel 38 mentions how Gog, the chief prince of Meshec and Tubal, the Son of Japhet, from the Isle's of the gentiles and lands of the north, aka Europe,(Genesis 10:2). Come against the Land of the real ISRAEL, in the latter days. Gog cannot be Iran for obvious reasons being that it is the land of Persia also mentioned in Ezekiel 38 as a separate entity. Ezekiel 38:10 mentions How the thought of "stealing" the real Israel came to the prince of Meshec and Tubal, GOG. That's why there is so much conflict in the middle east now. That's why 9/11 was an inside job. That's why they want to go to war with Iran and like talking about it everyday on the news.

GOG,MAGOG,MESHEC AND TUBAL are not descendents of Shem, read Genesis 10:2 it's there in plain english. They are descendants of Japheth, brother to Shem. They are the one's who go against the Land of Israel, by force and occupation mentioned in Ezekiel 38 in the latter days AKA NOW. They are the one's who thought the evil thought mentioned in Ezekiel38:10. That thought was to PLAGIARISE The Word of YAHUWAH and His Prophecy. YHWH even mentions how it brings His "fury upon His face", when they do it. We are in the latter days as the fake "UN" created isreal is 100% undeniable proof. The same entity that is behind 9/11 is also behind the creation of the UN's fake 'isreal'.

Also when YAHUWAH/YAHUSHUA addresses the 7 churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation, which are where the 144,000 of the lost tribe of Israel will be chosen from, they would have to be believers in order for Him to address them. The jewish people of the fake UN created 'isreal' don't believe in the one people wrongfully call 'jesus', so where does that make any sense? Gog and Magog are the sole owners of the fake UN created 'isreal'. Satanic forces under the guidance of satan deceived the world into believing who 'isreal' really is supposed to be, but it is YAHUWAH'S will because the people who were to represent Him, whom He blessed as the Sons of Shem, disobeyed Him and were sinning TREMENDOUSLY. We all are paying for sin no matter how close you are to your Creator.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Question for the people who believe in The Old Testament and not the New like the ones who study JUDAISM: WHICH IMMANUEL ARE YOU WAITING FOR? *BORN FROM A VIRGIN I MIGHT ADD*

Hope You don't fall for satan's version of immanuel, because the real Immanuel already came.



THEIR "ETHNOGENESIS" SAYS ASHKENAZI ARE FROM JAPHETH AND NOT SHEM. THEREFORE THEREFORE THEY ARE NOT SEMETIC AT ALL. THIS IS WHAT I'M TRYING TO GET ACROSS TO THE ATHEISTS. CHRISTIANS ARE PROBABLY MORE BRAINWASHED THAN THEY ARE. I NEED THE CRITICAL THINKERS WHO SPOT CONTRADICTION AND I NEED THEM TO BECOME AWARE OF THE FAKE UNITED NATIONS CREATED "ISREAL" WHICH IS CAUSING SUFFERING OVER A LIE. PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING BECAUSE YOU WANT TO ARGUE OVER A LIE.

THIS IS THE ABOMINATIONS THAT CAUSE DESOLATION. THE CREATION OF THE FAKE Untited Nations, isreali state.



posted on Apr, 9 2012 @ 05:51 PM
link   

Originally posted by Israylite4ever
reply to post by NoRegretsEver
 


THE FAKE UNITED NATIONS MANMADE ISREAL IS THE ABOMINATIONS THAT CAUSE DESOLATION:
Ezekiel 38 mentions how Gog, the chief prince of Meshec and Tubal, the Son of Japhet, from the Isle's of the gentiles and lands of the north, aka Europe,(Genesis 10:2). Come against the Land of the real ISRAEL, in the latter days. Gog cannot be Iran for obvious reasons being that it is the land of Persia also mentioned in Ezekiel 38 as a separate entity. Ezekiel 38:10 mentions How the thought of "stealing" the real Israel came to the prince of Meshec and Tubal, GOG. That's why there is so much conflict in the middle east now. That's why 9/11 was an inside job. That's why they want to go to war with Iran and like talking about it everyday on the news.

GOG,MAGOG,MESHEC AND TUBAL are not descendents of Shem, read Genesis 10:2 it's there in plain english. They are descendants of Japheth, brother to Shem. They are the one's who go against the Land of Israel, by force and occupation mentioned in Ezekiel 38 in the latter days AKA NOW. They are the one's who thought the evil thought mentioned in Ezekiel38:10. That thought was to PLAGIARISE The Word of YAHUWAH and His Prophecy. YHWH even mentions how it brings His "fury upon His face", when they do it. We are in the latter days as the fake "UN" created isreal is 100% undeniable proof. The same entity that is behind 9/11 is also behind the creation of the UN's fake 'isreal'.

Also when YAHUWAH/YAHUSHUA addresses the 7 churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation, which are where the 144,000 of the lost tribe of Israel will be chosen from, they would have to be believers in order for Him to address them. The jewish people of the fake UN created 'isreal' don't believe in the one people wrongfully call 'jesus', so where does that make any sense? Gog and Magog are the sole owners of the fake UN created 'isreal'. Satanic forces under the guidance of satan deceived the world into believing who 'isreal' really is supposed to be, but it is YAHUWAH'S will because the people who were to represent Him, whom He blessed as the Sons of Shem, disobeyed Him and were sinning TREMENDOUSLY. We all are paying for sin no matter how close you are to your Creator.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Question for the people who believe in The Old Testament and not the New like the ones who study JUDAISM: WHICH IMMANUEL ARE YOU WAITING FOR? *BORN FROM A VIRGIN I MIGHT ADD*

Hope You don't fall for satan's version of immanuel, because the real Immanuel already came.



THEIR "ETHNOGENESIS" SAYS ASHKENAZI ARE FROM JAPHETH AND NOT SHEM. THEREFORE THEREFORE THEY ARE NOT SEMETIC AT ALL. THIS IS WHAT I'M TRYING TO GET ACROSS TO THE ATHEISTS. CHRISTIANS ARE PROBABLY MORE BRAINWASHED THAN THEY ARE. I NEED THE CRITICAL THINKERS WHO SPOT CONTRADICTION AND I NEED THEM TO BECOME AWARE OF THE FAKE UNITED NATIONS CREATED "ISREAL" WHICH IS CAUSING SUFFERING OVER A LIE. PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING BECAUSE YOU WANT TO ARGUE OVER A LIE.

THIS IS THE ABOMINATIONS THAT CAUSE DESOLATION. THE CREATION OF THE FAKE Untited Nations, isreali state.



Lol no way am I reading all of the ignorant post.

Can you break it down to the bullet points? or perhaps post it somewhere that this is relevent



posted on Apr, 9 2012 @ 05:59 PM
link   
reply to post by drgrantdiz
 


Nope, s/he can't, been banned. Was spamming the threads with the same post....and not contributing.

What are your thoughts about things?



posted on Apr, 9 2012 @ 06:12 PM
link   
sort of works and doesn't work- like in Western Europe, which was obviously religious at one point and became pretty secular, which flies in the face of that "suggestion"



new topics

top topics



 
5

log in

join