Are religious beliefs inherited? 2005-03-17

A study by U Minn researchers claim that at least your predisposition to being religious is at least in part genetically determined.

Randall Parker over at Future Pundit comments on the study, saying amongst other:

"If any of the Minnesota researchers see this then what would be extremely interesting would be to collect fertility data on these men. Are the more religious men reproducing at higher rates than the less religious? Are genes for religiosity being selected for? I'm guessing the answer is Yes!"

I wouldn't be surprised if he's right. Religious beliefs or the lack thereof have "always" been a major factor affecting social inclusion or exclusion, and as an atheist I have no problems seeing that I would be at a disadvantage socially in many situations even today. Go back a few hundred years and I might have ended up being executed for my beliefs.

It would explain why holding a rational discussion about the scientific testability of religion is so hard, too...

But for now I'll take this study with a pinch of salt, as I haven't read more than the press release.

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