Religious belief is determined by a person's genetic make-up according to a study by a leading scientist.
After comparing more than 2,000 DNA samples, an American molecular geneticist has concluded that a person's capacity to believe in God is linked to brain chemicals.
His findings were criticised last night by leading clerics, who challenge the existence of a "god gene" and say that the research undermines a fundamental tenet of faith - that spiritual enlightenment is achieved through divine transformation rather than the brain's electrical impulses.
Dr Dean Hamer, the director of the Gene Structure and Regulation Unit at the National Cancer Institute in America, asked volunteers 226 questions in order to determine how spiritually connected they felt to the universe. The higher their score, the greater a person's ability to believe in a greater spiritual force and, Dr Hamer found, the more ...