Tag Archives: nature versus nurture

Hereditary Religion: Cultural Genetics

Hereditary Religion: Cultural Genetics

By David McAfee

                My interest in the field of Cultural Genetics began two years ago during an interview with a university student for a local magazine. His name was Mike and he was a second-year Theater Major at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I had the chance to speak candidly with Mike and asked him a series of questions regarding his religious preferences and freedoms, his answer to one question in particular would surprise me more than the rest. I asked Mike a very simple question, “Do you consider yourself a religious person?” A 2001 American Religious Identification Survey indicates that 81% of Americans DO associate themselves with a specific religion, so a “Yes” would not have been cause for alarm. Instead, Mike paused for a moment and answered “I’m half Catholic and half Agnostic.” Before I responded, my mind was filled ideas of what he could have meant, some blend of Catholic intrigue mixed with skepticism perhaps? Upon elaboration I discovered that Mike’s mother was a practicing Catholic and his father was not associated with an organized religion. Continue reading