Well Being

The God Gene

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In 1993, Dr. Dean Hamer, a geneticist at the National Cancer Institute, claimed to have found a genetic link to male homosexuality in a region of the X chromosome. No one else could replicate his findings.

Now he claims to have found the God gene. Instead of publishing his finding in a peer-reviewed journal, he wrote a book entitled, The God Gene.

I laughed out loud when I read the conclusion of Carl Zimmer’s review of the book in Scientific American:

The God Gene might have been a fascinating, enlightening book if Hamer had written it 10 years from now–after his link between VMAT2 and self-transcendence had been confirmed by others and after he had seriously tested its importance to our species. Instead the book we have today would be better titled: A Gene That Accounts for Less Than One Percent of the Variance Found in Scores on Psychological Questionnaires Designed to Measure a Factor Called Self-Transcendence, Which Can Signify Everything from Belonging to the Green Party to Believing in ESP, According to One Unpublished, Unreplicated Study.