So what is all the talk and publicity over what is being called the “God Gene”? Well, researchers have concluded after exploring 2000 DNA samples that a person’s capacity to believe in God is linked to brain chemicals. Of course the religious community is all up in arms over the study – Rev. John Polkinghorne, a fellow of the Royal Society and a canon theologian at Liverpool Cathedral, said: “The idea of a God gene goes against all my personal theological convictions. You can’t cut faith down to the lowest common denominator of genetic survival. It shows the poverty of reductionist thinking.”

No offense Mr. Polkinghorne, but the true poverty of thinking is completely disregarding science especially when it might be reinforcing the concept of God from a more scientific standpoint. It seems like more of a threat to a long standing establishment that bases its dogma on mostly blind faith?

The God Gene or VMAT2 explains why some people have more aptitude for spirituality than others.  VMAT2 is a vesicular monoamine transporter that regulates the flow of mood-altering chemicals in the brain; people who carry higher levels of this transporter were more likely to develop a spiritual belief. Researcher Dean Hamer, the director of the Gene Structure and Regulation Unit at the National Cancer Institute states that “Buddha, Muhammad and Jesus all shared a series of mystical experiences or alterations in consciousness and thus probably carried the gene (maybe in higher levels),” he said. “This means that the tendency to be spiritual is part of genetic makeup. This is not a thing that is strictly handed down from parents to children. It could skip a generation. It’s like intelligence.” Further, growing up in a religious environment was said to have little effect on belief- a classic natural vs. nurture argument.

I personally think it is interesting that scientists were able to isolate such a gene that is somehow connected to our ability to be attracted and plugged in to a higher power: The sublime intricacies the Cosmos. Quantum physic and astrophysics continues to shed light on our connection to the Universe – I have written how Karma and the Afterlife can be proven through science and the discovery of the “God Gene” should not be a threat to theologians but simply should be further proof that we do indeed live in a Responsive Universe.

Up next, lets tackle the “God Particle” which is also creating an uproar among the religious – this story is even more intriguing because for the first time, science is knocking on the door of God! Exciting stuff…

John C. Bader

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