No god, and no "god gene", either


#1

pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/no_god_and_no_god_gene_either/

Do you think religious belief can be dissected in molecular and genetic detail? I don’t think so?

Do you think a “god gene” exists?

It’s nothing but modern molecular preformationism. Palmistry for the genome. We’ve been fighting against this simplistic notion of the whole of the organism prefigured in a plan or in toto in the embryo since Socrates, and it keeps coming back. We’ve moved from imagining a little homunculus lurking in the sperm to one hiding in the genome. It’s just not there. You can’t point to a spot on a chromosome and say, “there’s the little guy’s finger!”, nor can you point to a spot and say, “there’s his fondness for football!”.

Kristof, for instance, points to a particular gene as the source of piety. Piffle. Here’s his shining locus of sacredness, VMAT2:

The vesicular monoamine transporter acts to accumulate cytosolic monoamines into synaptic vesicles, using the proton gradient maintained across the synaptic vesicular membrane. Its proper function is essential to the correct activity of the monoaminergic systems that have been implicated in several human neuropsychiatric disorders. The transporter is a site of action of important drugs, including reserpine and tetrabenazine. Liu et al. (1992) and Erickson et al. (1992) investigated cDNAs encoding the synaptic vesicular monoamine transporter in rat brain. Using sequences from rat brain SVMT, Surratt et al. (1993) identified the human homolog. Human SVMT shares 92% amino acid identity with the rat sequence, but displays one less consensus site for asparagine N-linked glycosylation and one more consensus site for phosphorylation by protein kinase C. By Southern blotting analysis of human/rodent hybrid cell lines and fluorescence in situ hybridization, Surratt et al. (1993) mapped the human SVMT gene to 10q25. They also demonstrated a TaqI polymorphism that may prove useful in assessing the gene’s involvement in neuropsychiatric disorders involving monoaminergic brain systems. Peter et al. (1993) likewise assigned the brain synaptic vesicle amine transporter gene to 10q25 using a panel of mouse/human hybrids and in situ hybridization.

It’s a pump. A teeny-tiny pump responsible for packaging a neurotransmitter for export during brain activity. Yes, it’s important, and it may even be active and necessary during higher order processing, like religious thought. But one thing it isn’t is a “god gene.”


#2

I don’t buy into the god gene concept much, no. Then again, things like that tend to be more a matter of (very broad) opinion. You can find evidence for God or atheism wherever you please, from math to biology to history to chemistry. A god gene could be offered as evidence in both ways as well, so it’s not a very interesting topic in my opinion.


#3

You don’t need a big brain with lots of gray matter to prove that God exists. :wink:


#4

Interesting, I’ve never heard of the concept of a “God gene”. From this article alone, it (the concept) would appear to be based on nothing but the necessity of certain biomolecules for proper cellular function. Thus, there seems to be no reason to make a case for any one particular molecule over another, even if the molecule in question is highly conserved.

In other words, there are plenty of enzymes, [chaperones, promoters, ion channels and pumps, etc] that have a distinctly high homology across species, so I see no reason to single out one over another. One could make a case, for example, that the gene that encodes p53 is the “God gene”, since p53 is such a vital anti-cancerous stopgap. It’s really just the “MFP” (My Favorite Protein) question.


#5

God is pure spirit. True science does not deal with the spiritual world, as there is no way to test it using the scientific method.


#6

I disgree.

I have found no evidence for atheism; whether empirical or logicall, philosophical or otherwise.

You can challenege that notion if you like.:slight_smile:


#7

[LEFT]The J2 Cohanim Haplotype Tree[20] The J2 DNA Cohanim Migration[21]

Jewish Kohanim share Y-chromosomal Haplogroup J1 (Y-DNA) with a set of genetic markers, known as the Cohen Modal Haplotype related to present-day traditional Kohanim families in Haplogroup J2 (Y-DNA). In the Hebrew Bible this ancestor is identified as Aaron, the brother of Moses. Y-chromosomal Aaron is the name given to the hypothesised most recent common ancestor of many of the patrilineal Jewish priestly caste known as Kohanim.
6.2 Genetics: the newly-evolved ASPM haplogroup D, at 52.2% occurrence of the approximately 6,000-year-old allele
found E1b1b1a2 (E-V13) [one from Sub Clades of E1b1b1a1 (E-V12)] in high levels (>10% of the male population) in Turkish Cypriot and Druze Arab lineages.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druze#Genetics
“The Samaritan M267 lineages differed from the classical Cohen modal haplotype at DYS391, carrying 11 rather than 10 repeats”. Samaritan Kohanim descend from a different patrilineal family line, having haplogroup E1b1b1a (M78) (formerly E3b1a).”

•The Qaysite party represented the Ḥijaz and Bedouin Arabs [Druze#Qaysites_and_the_Yemenites] who were regarded as inferior by the Yemenites who were earlier and more cultured emigrants into Syria from southern Arabia. Affected ITGB4 individuals were members of the extended [OMIM [URL=“http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/dispomim.cgi?id=226730”]226730] Bedouin family. [/LEFT]
[RIGHT]•Par in parem non habet imperium ÈÇÞí ãÇäÏå] Ulpian[/RIGHT]


#8

If it’s impossible to test with the scientific method then it doesn’t exist.


#9

If it’s impossible to test with the scientific method, then it just means we can’t prove it exists. But regardless, it will either exist, or not. Parallel universes are just one example. We may not be able to use the scientific method to prove they exist. We may never be able to travel to one and document its physics, its quantum signature, etc., then return and show our findings. We may never encounter an actual, provable event in which a parallel universe interacts with ours somehow. But if they do exist, they exist regardless of whether we ever find out for certain.


#10

They exist whether or not we ever find it, but saying “we haven’t found it yet” is a lot different from saying “it’s impossible to find it” If it’s impossible to find, that means it doesn’t ever affect anything from our world ever, which is what it means not to exist. If it does, then I see no reason why it would be impossible to test scientifically.


#11

oddly enough i stumbled across this video today. i dont know how accurate the info is in it but it would be interesting if it was true.

youtube.com/watch?v=_e4zgJXPpI4


#12

This is typical of naturalists who seek to make man a machine and not a being with a body and spirit inextricably woven together with the ability to make choices. The only way evolutionists can make sense out of any human behavior is to say that it is programmed. Well, we do have the ability to make choices which we cannot say for a computer. A computer cannot seek freedom, the meaning of its life, or sit and contemplate the existence of something immaterial. Your computer will not tell you “no” out of pride and rebellion when you give it a command.

We compromise God’s Word when we give into evolutionary nonsense and come up with something like theistic evolution. Evolution is man’s “way out”…in the end, if they do not repent and bow the knee to Christ, they will perish. And yes, evolution is theologically and scientifically wrong. It is built on philosophical presuppositions that are held by faith.

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (Romans 1:19)


#13

Unfortunately, it is all now discredited theory in structural (ORP) biology some of that work was later appropriated by the Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) children. These OCTN1 susceptibility alleles and those who used it as justification it creates for their unblessed reference in the creationist/evolutionist? debate.
Its unblessed references because the array ref [scripting language] is also unblessed, those pharyngula gills they are just gill-like things, not actually functioning gills and have elevated these simple observations to a “human law” with no justification. By comparing any belief in evolution that for some characterstics the ontogeny of the trait does go through stages much like the adult forms of the ancestors of the species with the trait-- is distinguished from Revelation, Theology or Spirituality in that it claims to offer insight into the physical world by scientific means. To look into Into the Holy Roman Empire regulating Religous laws as being in any way the defining meaning of God’s existance is junkscience] Pseudoscience.


#14

I think it is possible certain people are more prone to religious experiences based on genes. But certain people are also smarter than others. God gives everyone different gifts.


#15

I would agree those are traits that would not be required to state God Exists. But, to prove it, well I am not sure you even realize what you are saying here.


#16

Now please connect the two statements with evidence there is any connection whatsoever.


#17

hypnosis.home.netcom.com/iq_vs_religiosity.htm


#18

I’m really not sure why I should find a hypnosis site to be credible evidence in any way shape or means.


#19

The facts themselves come from credible sources. They have been cited on the page if you are so inclined. Lord forbid you actually take some time to find the truth, rather than just dismissing any conclusion you don’t like when the first excuse presents itself.


#20

How nice you also read minds and hearts too. Not that I mind that in a site like this, where I expect it. How often do I go to Mass? Tell me oh mind reader.

How do I dismiss the conclusion of God, and yet still attend Mass and adoration?

You are the expert on my thoughts. Tell me.


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