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If Charles Darwin was right and natural selection favors some traits over others, what reasons can we find for the persistence of human spirituality? This is a matter for educated guesses, rather than exact science. But one of the important roles that God genes may play in natural selection is to provide human beings with an innate sense of optimism -- the will to keep on living and procreating, despite the fact that death is ultimately inevitable.
Originally posted by Seekerof
I posted this topic because in thinking about this, I have found that there are genes for almost everything: genes for intelligence, genes for atheletic ability, genes for sexual orientation, genes for inheritable cancers, etc. If this be the case, then wouldn't it be almost a sure bet that there are genes which possibly govern 'our' humanist need for a higher thought, higher Being, a God, per se'?
[edit on 22-10-2004 by Seekerof]
The third step was to search for specific genes involved in spirituality. By comparing self-transcendence scores with DNA patterns, one such "God gene" stood out. It's called VMAT2, and it is linked to a protein that controls the amount of crucial brain-signaling chemicals. Interestingly, these same brain chemicals can be triggered by certain drugs that can bring about mystical-like experiences.
CONCLUSIONS: Human coc aine users lose VMAT2 protein, which might reflect damage to striatal dopamine fibers. These neuronal changes could play a role in causing disordered mood and motivational processes in more severely dependent patients.