Learning Extension Activity
“The God Gene”
Due: April 8, 2018 by 11:59 p.m.
Required length: 1 ½ page
Required Format: Double spaced, 1” margins, 12 point New Times Roman font, Microsoft Word document
In his book “The God Gene: How Faith is Hardwired into Our Genes”, Dean Hamer asserts that the drive to believe in and follow a “greater power” has genetic origins (specifically the VMAT2 gene). He states that humans are predisposed towards spiritual experiences. “Indeed, God is a concept that appears in human cultures all over the globe, regardless of how geographically isolated they are. It’s a fairly strong indication that the idea is preloaded in the genome rather than picked up on the fly.” (Hamer, 2005).
Read the following quotes about the book:
“It’s hard enough when getting by in a fang-and-claw world in which killing, thieving and cheating pay such rich dividends. It’s harder still when there’s no moral cop walking the beat to blow the whistle when things get out of control. Best to have a deity on hand to rein in our worst impulses, bring out our best and give us a sense that there’s someone awake in the cosmic house when the lights go out at night and we find ourselves wondering just why we’re here in the first place.”
“Far from being an evolutionary luxury then, the need for God may be a crucial trait stamped deeper and deeper into our genome with every passing generation. Humans who developed a spiritual sense thrived and bequeathed that trait to their offspring. Those who didn’t risked dying out in chaos and killing. The evolutionary equation is a simple but powerful one.”
Taking into consideration the assertions from Hamer, these two quotes, and any other reading you’d like to do on the topic, write a paragraph stating your opinion on the topic. Your writing should reflect some thought on the material above and a definitive opinion about the existence of the “God Gene”.
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Possible Points – 10 (8 points for content, 2 points for writing quality). Your response WILL NOT be graded based on the specifics of your opinion – feel free to be honest.
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