Genes and atheism

 
X1B
 
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X1B
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11 November 2019 16:01
 

There is evidence that someone’s genes can influence his political orientation. Scientific American reports that genes contribute to a person’s political views by 40%. The study they quoted examined 12,000 twin pairs from five different countries. You can view the article here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-genes-of-left-and-right/

Since genes can influence if someone is a liberal or conservative, I’ve been wondering lately if genes also contribute to being an atheist.

I’ve done research on the subject. But it seems like all I can find are biased sources, namely from Christian researchers who claim atheists are genetically damaged. Let’s be honest: these researchers have an agenda to “prove” that people who don’t share their beliefs are less human.

I want to read research from researchers who are genuinely interested in finding out if there is a link between someone’s genes and their atheism (or predisposition towards atheism). Basically, an objective source. So I’ve decided to post this thread and ask people here if they’re aware of any such studies, and if so, let me know what the data says.

[ Edited: 11 November 2019 16:13 by X1B]
 
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11 November 2019 20:24
 

What you are asking is a variation of the Nature vs. Nurture debate, and from what little I have read, and based on meta-analysis of twin studies, the debate so far is a draw, 50/50.  It is unlikely there is an atheist gene, just as there is no gay gene, but that our lives are a complex mixture, or symphonic effect, of genes and environment.

Just as straight people make gay children, so can religious people make atheist children.  Sexual reproduction is a genetic roll of the dice.

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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12 November 2019 00:22
 

it’s more like 80/20 in favor of Nature (presuming that Nurture does the baseline of not fucking you up physically or emotionally).

And I very much assume that there are combinations of genes that can make one more or less comfortable with uncertainty.

 
 
MrRon
 
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12 November 2019 03:56
 

For a laugh, here are some excerpts from a Conservapedia page on “Atheists and genetic mutations”:

https://www.conservapedia.com/Atheists_and_genetic_mutations

Newsweek declared about atheists and genetic mutations and a scientific study relating to atheists:

*“  Left-handedness is a good marker of a high mutational load. They found higher levels of left-handedness in atheists than in followers of most major religions.
Explaining the behavior behind these results, Dutton says: “Religiousness makes you more pro-social, and you become more religious when you’re stressed. Religious people would have been sexually selected for because their pro-social, moral, unstressed nature would be attractive.”...

Since the industrial revolution, the hold of natural selection on humanity has weakened. “We developed better and better medical care, easier access to healthy food and better living conditions. Child mortality collapsed down to a tiny level and more and more people with more and more mutant genes have survived into adulthood and had children,” Dutton says.[1]

*The Telegraph states about atheists and genetic mutations:

  Left-handed people are more likely to be atheists, a study has found, as it says belief is passed on genetically.
The study suggests that religious people have fewer genetic mutations and are therefore less likely to be left handed or have conditions such as autism or schizophrenia.

*British academic Edward Dutton, a professor at Oulu University, Finland, said that in pre-industrial times religiosity was passed on like other genetic attributes because it was associated with greater stability, mental health and better social behaviour. But modern science means many people who would not previously have survived are making it to adulthood

* On September 19, 2011, the Discover Magazine website had an article indicating that there were empirical results showing a positive correlation between atheism and high functioning autism and the article declared: “This is why the empirical results on the correlation between atheism and high functioning autism are important…

*...some people were angry that I seemed to suggest that atheists were antisocial weirdos. Well, there is some data to back that up

* atheism appears to be one aspect of the nihilistic despair that is a consequence of the increased prevalence of genetic inferiority that results from easier circumstances

* Some people are more likely to be atheist if they are less likely to identify with the religious identity of their family/community (see: Atheism and social outcasts and Atheism and poor relationships with parents),

* A psychopath is someone with an anti-social personality disorder characterized by violent, perverted or immoral behavior often leading to criminality. Psychopaths have little or no concern for other people. Some psychopaths equate love with sexual arousal.There are a few studies showing a positive correlation between psychopahy and irreligion

* Social science research indicates that antitheists score the highest among atheists when it comes to personality traits such as narcissism, dogmatism, and anger.[16][17] Furthermore, they scored lowest when it comes to agreeableness and positive relations with others.[18]

* Psychopathy is strongly correlated with crime, violence, and antisocial behavior.

* Irreligious countries such as European countries and China, have significant problems with cancer

* Denmark, France and Australia have significantly higher rates of individuals holding to an atheistic worldview (see also: Irreligion in Denmark and French atheism and Irreligion in Australia). According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, Denmark, France and Australia have the three highest per capita cancer rates in the world.[24]

* There are various studies which link atheists/irreligious to various unhealthy behaviors associated with cancer development

* The English anthropologist Edward Dutton indicates that religious people are genetically disposed to suffer less depression.[25] Atheists are more likely to suffer depression

* The genetic entropy theory by Cornell University Professor Dr. John Sanford on eroding genomes of all living organisms due to mutations inherited from one generation to the next is declared to be one of the major challenges to evolutionary theory. The central part of Sanford’s argument is that mutations, represented by spelling mistakes in DNA, are accumulating so quickly in some creatures (and particularly in people) that natural selection cannot stop the functional degradation of the genome, let alone drive an evolutionary process that could lead for example, from apes into people. Sanford’s book Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome explains why human DNA is inexorably deteriorating at an alarming rate, thus cannot be millions of years old.


Ron

 

 
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EN
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12 November 2019 07:41
 

What is the breakdown of left and right-handed people on this forum?  Just curious.  I’m a lefty, but I kick right-footed. I must be a real mutant.

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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12 November 2019 08:40
 
EN - 12 November 2019 07:41 AM

What is the breakdown of left and right-handed people on this forum?  Just curious.  I’m a lefty, but I kick right-footed. I must be a real mutant.

I refuse to be categorized into binary handedness. Both my hands are skilled in different ways—how dare you attempt to limit my. . . . er, that is, I’m a righty.

 
 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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12 November 2019 15:57
 
EN - 12 November 2019 07:41 AM

What is the breakdown of left and right-handed people on this forum?  Just curious.  I’m a lefty, but I kick right-footed. I must be a real mutant.

I’m a righty.


Ron

 
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12 November 2019 18:22
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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13 November 2019 06:56
 

From the article:

“The genes involved in such complex traits are difficult to pinpoint because they tend to be involved in a huge number of bodily and cognitive processes that each play a minuscule role in shaping our political attitudes.”

This was my immediate intuition upon reading the title of the OP. Genes correspond to physiology. They do not determine complex social categories. I feel like the suggestion itself is a primer for a lot of unhelpful confirmation bias. ‘Oh, I have this genetic marker… it follows that I would have these conclusions about such and such social issue’ Sort of the like the genetic equivalent of astrology.

 

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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11 December 2019 20:09
 
EN - 12 November 2019 07:41 AM

What is the breakdown of left and right-handed people on this forum?  Just curious.  I’m a lefty, but I kick right-footed. I must be a real mutant.

Lefty except for golf, hockey, and guitar.