Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Reasons for Skepticism

As I said in my initial post on this subject, I have no opinion one way or the other about the merits of Hamer's claim. I find it plausible, but that is a long way from saying it is true. Blogger Pajama Hadin offers some good reasons to be skeptical of Hamer's claims here.

2 Comments:

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Salvador T. Cordova said...

My view is that to try to tie something as broad as a tendency toward religion to a single gene is too simplistic. There are many broad ranging factors in inheritance that are not single-gene factors.

I do think that the desire for religion is deeply ingrained in our biology, just that we might not be able to fully describe single hereditary causal factors, but rather should maybe accept that there are many causal factors from a hereditary standpoint which are beyond the scope of current science to probe...

One book Why God Won't go Away: Brain Science and Biology of Beliefties biological factors to religious belief. We sleep, we dream, that is a biological fact. We do not know why we dream. Perhaps the same is true for religion...

Religious belief might well have biological basis for the very reason we have the ability to believe and and explore in abstract ways things we have never directly experienced or seen. We can explore the strange world of the atom and quantum mechanics, we can ponder non-euclidean geometries, we can deduce propereties of negative and imaginary numbers even though we can't see or experience these things directly....

A mathematician like Andrew Wiles accepted by faith an early age that perhaps he could prove Fermat's last theorem, a proof which Wiles eventually pioneered, but one he could not be absolutely certain of while devoting his life to that quest....

The capacity to believe in false things (such as "the fountain of youth") from incomplete information is also the capacity which makes it possible to discover great truths (such as in Wiles case).

People can argue whether Darwinian processes or special creation inbued humans with the capacity to believe and have relentless faith, but I think the biological facts indicate that the capacity for faith is very strong, that the capacity to hold to abstract values which have little individual survival advantage is a brute fact of our psychology and surely is tied to biological factors...

Salvador
PS
The politicians who capitalize on biological tendencies will tend to win. As I said, from the standpoint of evolutionary psychology alone (and this may seem harsh), I would expect populations to forever be more supportive of heterosexual unions than homosexual ones. That prejudice will not wane as it is written in our genes and it will be enforced by natural selection.....

Evangelical theology frowns heavily on pre-marital sex and adultery, but prohibitions and disdain against such activities are not pursued with the same vigor as the prohibition and suppression of gay unions. I have said it before, the gay issue less to do with theology and has more to do with the innate biological tendency for most to view heterosexual unions as wholesome and homosexual ones as unwholesome

The evangelicals often use theology as a license to justify their natural gene driven dislike of homosexual unions.

The politicians who exploit biological tendencies of the electorate will have a better chance of winning elections.

 
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