Book Title: The God Gene
Author: Dean Hamer
For centuries, geneticists insisted that genes do not explain the story of how God came to be. Religion and faith have been the most condescending topics in science – with mathematical abnormalities, historical overlaps, and universal suspicions contribute to a unifying incompatibility.
Hamer’s indulgence in the topic, shifts the readers’ perception into reconsidering their ideology. Exploring the many institutions of the “fact vs. faith” publications, Hamer visited numerous universities; laboratories; monasteries; temples; professors; monks and theoreticians – in effort to understand one of life’s biggest mysteries, God.
Concentrated on a “radical” hypothesis, Hamer sets out gathering research to prove his theory on “faith being hardwired into our genes”. His unique cognisance attracted the lawful eye of anyone battling to apprehend the heated debate.
The book is concisely written in 215 pages. In Hamer’s argument, spiritual and religious experiences are human attributes. Throughout his pilgrimage, he drew distinct conclusions in spirituality (a personality trait, varying in significance amongst people) and religion (a cultural expression of religion). He explained that spirituality is a complex trait, influenced by countless genes and environment the organism grows in.
His wise integration of the history of humankind intertwined with modern day technology makes his stand believable and persuasive. Decoding simple pleasures of memes under a magnified reasoning of spiritual inclination, promotes a greater understanding of the debate.
Molecular genetics have proven to study the spiritual influences throughout human evolution. Sparks of spirituality validated the individual’s ability to reproduce; getting through difficult times; reducing harmful stress levels; preventing disease and illness and prolong life. Hamer identified a specific gene (SCL18A2 also known as VMAT2), which controls the transport of neurochemicals/monoamines – accounting for the genetic variations in spirituality.
The protagonist analysis: Dean Hamer (best identified with)
Though the book pivots on a scientific understanding, snippets of Hamer’s personality slips in. His sheer determination and subdued curiosity for the world above him kept the reader engaged and enlightened. Important life lessons echoed in his actions, such as when encountering defeat or a “mental block” – it is important to realize “a setback is a setup for a comeback”.
He is a profound enthusiast, escaping social norms and uncovering the hidden truths the world seems to neglect. A rich background in medicine and genetics, paved way for a respectful questioning of science and religion. Arguing one of the world’s most heated debates often never goes successfully, yet his mature and politely referenced theses were effective.
Adorned with esteemed intellectual qualifications, he never failed to remain humble – whether it was exploring the psychedelic realm or zoning out in zen meditations, his sense for adventure thrived throughout his journey and the book.
Aspect best enjoyed
Personally, Hamer’s journey into the psychedelic realm and study of ancient religious practises were the most intriguing concepts behind the book.
The importance of curiosity – instilling oneself with the desire to learn, makes life enjoyable. Hamer’s constant wonder of the world led to inspiring discoveries and advances for mankind.
Hamer clarifies the culminative effect of many genes to exhibit a spiritual experience. The most important lesson to take from Hamer’s proposal is found in the last pages of the book. His humbling consciousness of faith keeps the human spirit alive and healthy. His concluding theory on the “act of believing” proceeds the materialism and derangement humans crave.
The book makes plentiful associations with the science world. I often had to research some terminology in order to fully grasp the books motive, I would encourage future publications to include comprehensive English and a vocabulary list.
“The God Gene” is a must read for anyone interested in science, religion, or both. It accommodates for a large audience with comprehensive language and relatable interests. His evolution throughout the book is a significant metaphor of the progress mankind has made in the debate – each progressing day is a new discovery made. Reading the book is a proudful euphoria for mankind and a stronger lead in the debate – fact vs. faith.