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Are there studies that investigate the heritability of believing in supernatural things (or related concepts)? Or stated differently. Are there studies that investigate the genetic variance explaining the variance in believing in supernatural things?

The best answer would include the references, a summary of the results of the article and eventual criticisms of their methodology (For example: Their heritability estimate probably reflects the population structure only).


$h_B = \frac{V_G}{V_P}$, where $V_G$ is the genetic variance, $V_P$ is the phenotypic variance and $h_B$ is the heritability in the broad sense.

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the perception of paranormal perception can be due to some brain development disorders. (At least I know that they arise because of lesions in certain areas). In such cases if there is a gene involved, these traits may be heritable. –  WYSIWYG Jun 3 at 14:29
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sorry the perception got repeated.. another sort of impairment of brain function :P –  WYSIWYG Jun 3 at 17:24
    
How do you define a measurable scale for believing in supernatural things? –  Mys_721tx Jun 4 at 7:23
    
Oh there are some tests for self transcendence.. not for religious beliefs though.. –  WYSIWYG Jun 4 at 13:08
    
This is an interesting idea, I'll just watch and see what happens with it! –  L.B. Jun 4 at 15:24

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are several twin studies showing, that the tendency to be religious has a genetic component. Not which religion you choose, because that is a cultural thing, but how serious you are abot it. I am lazy for a detailed report, but this blog can lead you to the studies: http://www.scilogs.eu/en/blog/biology-of-religion/2011-03-12/religiosity-genes-again-confirmed-by-another-twin-study

Also this article: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-08/what-twins-reveal-about-god-gene

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