Tag Archive: God Gene


Over the last week I have discussed the “God Gene” and the “God Particle”; two newsworthy topics that have been hitting the headlines lately and causing a clash between proponents of science and religion. What about learned behavior as it relates to religion? Is faith in God taught? Of, course it is! We are not born having knowledge of God – At a young age we learn and establish a belief system based on our environment and surroundings.

I recently read a psychology study published in Science Magazine. Researchers, Will Gervais and Ara Norenzayan from the University of British Columbia recently published some new data about why people are more religious than others. Now, this is completely different research as compared to the “God Gene” VMAT2 that is capturing headlines. The God Gene is a DNA predisposition that theorizes that certain people based on their genetic makeup will be more likely to believe in God unlike those that possess little or no VMAT2. In a classic “Nature vs. Nurture argument, VMAT2 theorizes the nature of humans. This new study out of Canada focuses more on a quality of nurture – or what we learn from our mentors and environment.

According to new research, studies showed that encouraging people to think more analytically reduced their tendency to believe in God. Conversely, research showed that encouraging people to think more intuitively increased people’s belief in God. Taken together, these findings suggest belief may stem from how humans think – intuitively or analytically – and how our learning environment and surrounding social influences effect our belief systems.

In the Seventh Mandala (chapter) of the Responsive Universe – Meditations and Daily Life Practices I talk about this classic rift in our being – The quality of the mind or analytical thinking vs. our heart or intuitive thinking. Instead of living with divided interests, we must strive to merge our heart and mind as one. Humans tend to have the capability to be intuitive and also analytical. Depending on the person, one quality tends to dominate the other creating a rift or imbalance in energy. We need to be mindful of this rift and find common ground between the two worlds. When merged as one, the sum of the two is authentic empowerment; centered and self-actualized. When we are centered in life, our heart and mind rift is mended with both entities working together. Gone will be the rift; gone will be two voices; united will be your heart and mind working mutually toward self-evolution.

With the mind and heart merged as one you will find that new doors of perception will open up and a new and complete shift in perspective will take shape. Once you are centered your inner voice will speak wisdom about such musings of God and the Universe – These realizations can be considered part of our awakening, or self-evolution that connects us to our True Nature. Then our ego driven social environment and the influences of others will not matter.

That my friends is living in a Responsive Universe.

John C. Bader

www.responsiveuniverse.com

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

www.responsiveuniverse.com

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