The God Gene: How Faith is Hardwired into our Genes

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9780385500586: The God Gene: How Faith is Hardwired into our Genes

LEADING GENETICIST DEAN HAMER CRACKS THE “CODE” BEHIND WHY WE ARE PREDISPOSED TO BELIEVE IN GOD. IN A BOOK THAT BRIDGES THE GAP BETWEEN RELIGION AND SCIENCE, HAMER BRILLIANTLY ILLUMINATES HOW OUR INCLINATION TOWARD FAITH IS INFLUENCED BY OUR GENES.

The overwhelming majority of Americans believe in God, expressing a conviction that has existed since the beginning of recorded time and is shared by billions around the world. In The God Gene, Dr. Dean Hamer reveals that this inclination toward religious faith is no accident; it is in good measure due to our genes. In fact, he argues, spiritual belief may offer an evolutionary advantage by providing humans with a sense of purpose and the courage and will to overcome hardship and loss. And, as a growing body of evidence suggests, belief also increases our chances of reproductive survival by helping to reduce stress, prevent disease, and extend life.
Hamer shows that new discoveries in behavioral genetics and neurobiology indicate that humans inherit a set of predispositions that make their brains ready and eager to embrace a higher power. By analyzing the genetic makeup of over a thousand people of different ages and backgrounds, and comparing their DNA samples against a scale that measures spirituality, Hamer actually identified a specific “God gene” that appears to influence spirituality.
Popular science at its best, The God Gene is an in-depth, fully accessible inquiry into the cutting-edge research that is changing the way we think about ourselves, our world, and our culture. Written with balance and integrity, without seeking to confirm or deny the existence of God, The God Gene brilliantly illuminates the mechanism by which belief itself is biologically fostered. It’s a book that bridges the gap between science and religion, and one that will appeal to the readers of Genesis and Genome alike.

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From the Back Cover:

PRAISE FOR LIVING WITH OUR GENES
"A pioneer in the field of molecular psychology, Hamer is exploring the role genes play in governing the very core of our individuality. Accessible . . . provocative."
--Time

"An exceptionally interesting and useful book. In clear, simple language, it scans the cutting edge of much of the important research in genetics, molecular biology, and psychology relating to fundamentals of human behavior. Hamer speaks with authority as one of the leading laboratory researchers in the subject."
--E. O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

"One of the world's leading behavioral geneticists provides a lucid, thought-provoking account of the case for 'nature' as a determinant of personality."
--Peter D. Kramer, author of Listening to Prozac and Should You Leave?

PRAISE FOR THE SCIENCE OF DESIRE

"A surprising delight to read."
--Natalie Angier, New York Times

"A meticulous, engrossing book that, in plain language, explains how a gay gene was discovered and what it may mean for the future . . . informative and thought-provoking."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review

About the Author:

DR. DEAN HAMER is a preeminent geneticist and author of The Science of Desire, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Living with Our Genes. Together with his scientific collaborators at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, he has authored more than one hundred articles for popular and academic science journals. His television appearances include Good Morning America, Dateline, Oprah, the national news shows, and documentaries for HBO, PBS, and the Discovery Channel. Dr. Hamer received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Ariens Kappers Award for Neurobiology.

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