Geno-Phenotypes vs Religious Nurture- A change in Physiology

Comparing heredity to physiology and neurological changes from religious indoctrination from submitting your will to another power

I can’t help but notice from day to day how so many can completely ignore the contradictions of religion. Could it be faulty wiring, or are they compelled in some way by their physiology to align with obvious duplicity due to faulty programming? Where but institutionalized patients in state hospitals can you see such a broken bridge between reality versus what is believed? —Religious conditioning

A genotype is an organisms full hereditary information, while phenotype is the organisms actual observed properties. Additionally, an extended phenotype would include what the organism does, such as nest building for birds or dam building for beavers, who change their environment due to genetic programming.

Religious genotypes, phenotypes, and morphology could easily be expounded in analogy with more time, but your natural conclusion can easily see what I am alluding to. It’s obvious to everyone that has not been indoctrinated. The constant denial of the obvious is more than a decision to believe, but they are forced to ignore simple logic by physiology. Here’s how-

A key difference between a religious genotype and natural organic genotypes is one of nurture versus nature. While family traits can be passed on from generation to generation with no effort but copulation, religious traits must be routinely hammered into the newcomer without their choice or consent. After several years of indoctrination, subjects begin to take on the traits of the abuser parent and lose the natural discernment of contradiction due to shifted nueropathways. While religion through fertility is a common occurrence, retracting from nurtured thought duplicity is quite rare. The ability to ignore contradiction has become physiological.

Neurotheologist Dr. Andrew Newberg writes; “As to what’s going on in their brains, he says, “It depends to some degree on what the practice is.” Practices that involve concentrating on something over and over again, either through prayer or a mantra-based meditation, tend to activate the frontal lobes, the areas chiefly responsible for directing attention, modulating behavior, and expressing language.

In contrast, when practitioners surrender their will, such as when they speak in tongues or function as a medium activity decreases in their frontal lobes and increases in their thalamus, the tiny brain structure that regulates the flow of incoming sensory information to many parts of the brain. This suggests that their speech is being generated from some place other than the normal speech centers” The Metaphysical Mind

Research also shows that routines and habits actually create new neuro-pathways. A study in the Oct. 20 issue of Nature, led by Ann Graybiel of MIT’s McGovern Institute, now shows why. “Important neural activity patterns in a specific region of the brain change when habits are formed, change again when habits are broken, but quickly re-emerge when something rekindles an extinguished habit — routines that originally took great (pressure) effort to learn. We knew that neurons can change their firing patterns when habits are learned, but it is startling to find that these patterns reverse when the habit is lost, only to recur again as soon as something kicks off the habit again,” said Graybiel, who is also the Walter A. Rosenblith Professor of Neuroscience in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS).

Forcing religious habits into young minds through repetition has a two-fold effect One, essentially taking away freewill of the indoctrinated, and two, manipulating/changing actual neuro-physiology in each subject. Undoing these manipulations requires a long break in the routine to readjust the neurons to achieve clarity.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”. Why? Because his neurophysiology has been manipulated—It almost takes a miracle, or some good luck.

Here again we see contradiction in the religion of freewill. They appear to be the ones without it. After physiological changes in the brain seal it by indoctrination and repetition, they simply cannot undo the connections. We would just as well teach a beaver to build a birds nest. No matter what you do, he’ll still end up back at the water.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

80 thoughts on “Geno-Phenotypes vs Religious Nurture- A change in Physiology”

  1. Another inherent clamp this repetitive and concentrated frontal cortex use can do is to prevent the thinker from focusing on other things, thus narrowing the perspective and reinforcing the lack of a desire to think about other things. For example, if all you do is think of the Bible and pray, anything else will not only be disinteresting but likely considered exotic or foreign to your beliefs and so rebuked or attacked for it’s apparent alien-nature. It’s human nature to want to annihilate things you don’t consider part of your family and world. In all, it’s all part of a vicious cycle of debilitating mentality and wasted potential. Another intellectual piece of work; well done Jim!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just wanted to say how lucky Mary was, and Nan “almost was. ” I cannot imagine being brought up without a religious idiotology being crammed down my throat. But, as with other things, I am glad I was brought up the way I was because it gave me the challenge to fight my own way through it. But it also helped me to understand those who are still religious. They grew up religiously-abused children, and 90% of them went on to be religious abusers. It is a common result. They were not strong enough to help themselves, or save themselves, in the anti-religious sense.
    A word to Mary, if you read this: It is my experience and belief that brain and mind are two different things. For example I will use a sexual picture, because I feel it is one everyone can relate to, unless you are asexual.
    As a teenager, discovering the needs and wants of the body, situations arise where you feel an extreme urge to have sex with a particular person. I’m not just talking want, but an overwhelming and immediate need. The question becomes, do you give into it? Every ounce of your body says yes, and if you were a caveperson probably you would proceed with the act to fulfill that need. That is your body’s perfect solution. However, your mind says, Hold on! What are the ramifications? What might the consequences be? Does the object of my desire want me as much as I desire them? (And so on.)
    Your body does not care about ramifications. It does not care about consequences. It does not look at answers to ridiculous questions. It just says, “Yes, right now!” Your mind then says, no, or maybe, or check it out. But it does not agree with the body, even at a time like this. If that is what you see the brain doing, then I will not try to convince you otherwise. Your experience is your experience.
    My own experience, though, is that mind and brain are not connected when a critical choice has to be made. IMO, they are only connected when the mind wants it that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting point…brain functions or mind (mental functions) but aren’t they so connected, they one in the same?

    I was a fortunate one who was not raised in a religious atmosphere. My parents did have me go to church as a young child and Sunday school, but not all the time. I also went a few times with a Catholic neighbor to her church. My family never prayed before meals or spoke of religion or god, that I can recall. One of my closest friends was Jewish, but not religious. But after a certain age, I never attended church again and none of my friends growing up were religious.

    Actually, religion wasn’t a big deal like it is today. You certainly never heard of it in politics and I don’t recall ever hearing about it like today with the far right evangelical fundamentalist nutcases, like the ones occasionally on these blogs.

    None of it ever took with me in any way. I don’t recall even ever wondering if there was a god. It all just seemed like stories in mythology…almost weird stuff, that held no interest or pull for me.

    My point is that, for me, I think my brain was neurologically formed 😜 by genetics to be predisposed NOT to be religious. I can remember I was always skeptical of other things as well.

    And since I wasn’t bombarded by religious parents and church theology, those neural pathways, that can be altered from the natural state at birth, were not changed and negatively affected.

    I admire those of you who were so deep into religion and had the innate intelligence and ability to change those neural pathways to get out. Religion is an addiction, as evidenced lately and can be used for great harm and humanity is paying the price right before our eyes and, unfortunately, other eyes who refuse to see the truth.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mary it is disgusting to me, even though parents know many of their own beliefs are stupid or are not possible (the ark and creation story for instance) they still teach it. “What harm can it do”, right? My comment to ConsoledReader touches in this way of life of faith, Especially here in the west. Most of our kids are raised in total deception and outright lying from the time they can cry. It’s stunting and teaches codependency and is a scourge to societal growth. Rawgods latest comments were awesome as well as yours. Thank you Mary. Great insights.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I had a similar upbringing, Mary. We also didn’t perform any religious rituals at home. However, because my father’s parents were extremely devoted Catholics (he was non-religious), I was taken to Mass when I was quite young. As I grew older, I also attended Catechism for a short time (emphasis … short). After that, there were several years of no religious exposure. Then in high school, I accompanied a couple of girlfriends to their church services.

      Unfortunately, when I reached my early 20’s, I started reading the Book of Revelation — and “got scared.” To make a long story short, I got “saved” — and was a faithful Christian for over 15 years. Interestingly, it was a visiting preacher’s sermon that prompted me to take a second look … and well, the rest is history.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The coin is about to be flipped on edge. The science side of biology and neurology is part of the story, but only part. Were a baby to be born and NEVER introduced to the god fantasy, it would never conceive of a god or gods on its own, there is no need to do so. But once gods were invented, and made popular, suddenly everyone had to have them. This was slowly accomplished through great salesmanship, and then brainwashing youngsters. But it was accomplished, and at one point in history probably 99.999% of humans had some kind of belief in gods, or a god. Fortunately that is changing.
    But why is it changing. Certainly not because of how our brains work. We are told about religion, and gods, so now we are predisposed to believe, since we are brainwashed to do so from birth. We are very very seldom left to ourselves to grow up not believing in something, especially let us say from about 1000 BC till somewhere in the 18th century, possibly. That is approximately when agosticism and atheism started to raise their wondrously beautiful heads. And it was probably the hypocrisy of too many religions that caused certain freethinkers to start to doubt, and to ask questions, and consider the possibilities.
    IMO, these things had little to do with brainwaves, or physiology changes. They had very much to do with mental process and spiritual (as in a type of team spirit, not as in religious spirit, or soul) evolution. Remember, we are not born with the idea of gods, but it is in our nature to need to feel connected to something. When our parents, teachers, and preachers turn us in the direction of religion it is an easy place for a child to go to. And it is just as easy to become trapped there. But we, most of the readership of blogs such as this one, have escaped that trap. Ask yourself, was it your brain that helped you escape, or was it your mind–your spirit?
    If you were to ask me, which I know most of you wouldn’t, I would answer it is your mind that opened the door, though it was your brain that gave you the ability to open it.

    My apologies, but I cannot finish these thoughts tonight. Perhaps another time…

    Liked by 4 people

  5. This is such a great post with such excellent comments. It really goes a long ways to explaining why people become addicted to religion, as other vices. And that’s what religion is..a vice and vices are craved because they give some actual momentary pleasure through chemicals in the brain.

    Then there’s the whole issue of “tribalism” and this need (another addiction) to be part of a group. There are many things here that interplay.

    In some ways, we are like machines and it’s the “ghost in the machine” ( the chemical, neural connections and genetic ones) that forms who we are.

    But free will is there too, to override some of these addictions.
    There are some who post here on occasion that are hopelessly addicted. Their free will is not strong enough nor their desire for freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great points Mary and thank you for them. Two things you made me think of; we are ruled by hormones and physiology in so many ways. I firmly believe the answers to this conundrum of religious deception are very simple solutions that are just difficult to find (if that make sense) They are right under our noses—or right above them, and we are finally coming to a point where we can actually know who we are without making something up to explain it. The next step is getting them free enough from themselves to believe the science and the solution. This will be another conspiracy to them, to take away their freedom of religion. The same way climate science is dismissed as a conspiracy against their freewill that they already gave away when they chose faith.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great article! I’ve often wondered about what happens in the brain during intensive prayer. I recall some years ago when my mother was still alive, her watching a catholic television station where a group of people were praying the rosary. It was actually rather frightening. The constant repetition, the droning voices, and the looks on the faces of the people… I can only describe it as them going into some kind of trance-like state, blank, unfocused eyes, the mindless repetition. It was scary.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It doesn’t look very Holy now does it. Some of these religions claim they are having a spiritual experience speaking in tongues and rolling on the floor shaking. Certainly appears pure evil, but there again, what we see versus what we’re told about religion is always at odds. Great comment Grouchy. Good to see you.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Yes, a trance-like state. They’re hypnotizing themselves into a state of unreality. It’s amazing how often I see conservative Catholic commenters on right-wing religious sites confidently describe the rosary as an unbeatable weapon to stop abortion in Ireland or whatever, as if it were some powerful form of sorcery.

      And imagine whole populations of malnourished, uneducated people being essentially compelled to go through such rituals on a regular basis, and it becomes understandable how the Church kept such tight control over European societies during the Dark Ages. Their brains must have been reprogrammed to an almost robotic degree.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for sharing this critically-important scientific insight into one of the true natures of the beast, Jim. It holds one of the keys to deprogramming, counter-conditioning, and rescuing the “true believers” from their deeply-embedded habit (perhaps addiction is a more appropriate word). Peace.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Great post Jim!

    As a former amateur, collegiate, semi-pro, and pro soccer player, our training sessions of repeated workouts and concepts-tactics over and over and over are also what you write here. 😉 Once you and your teammates are on the game field, it is hoped that the incessant overt programming of your nueropathways manifests physiologically in the game! And then when you notice you and your team are LOSING… THAT is an obvious “contradiction” and you and your team MUST CORRECT IT before the final whistle!!!! ⚽️🤩

    Liked by 2 people

  9. As someone with a brain injury, the brain does form new pathways. I think that people’s perception of reality and religion is based in their brain. I believe that belief and nonbelief is a choice based on people’s perception.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi jim and neptunesdolphins,

      People’s perception of reality and religion is based on not only their perceptions but also their cognitive biases and fallacies, a great number of which come to be involved in how people routinely process statements or quotations in everyday life from all sources, including those from various texts and propagandas, whether or not they are religious. This perennial condition often fundamentally restricts people’s ability to reach better judgements and decisions, as discussed in exhaustive detail at http://www.soundeagle.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/the-quotation-fallacy/

      Happy June to both of you!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is such a good post, and I salute your skill in being able to articulate the idea in so few words.

    The ability to ignore contradiction has become physiological.

    This. Is. It.

    Same thing happens with lies. The more we’re exposed to the sweet lies of others the uneasiness felt by us in the face of deception weakens. The brain physically bends to adapt, exactly as Neil Garret wrote in his 2016 paper, The brain adapts to dishonesty (Nature Neuroscience).

    Liked by 5 people

    1. We can’t pick and choose how physiology affects us, then dismiss the other half out of inconvenience. It is ever so important to have a broad knowledge base in every way possible to maintain the best possible perspective. Thanks John

      Liked by 4 people

      1. The reticular activating system (RAS) seriously blows me away. It’s that part of your brain which determines what you notice—what you see—in the world. It’s that part that says “anything that relates to this I need to notice.” In this sense, we are, quite literally, shaping our reality.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. This reminds me of “once a cop always a cop”. They’ve been trained to be suspicious and see suspicion everywhere they go ad nauseum. Can’t shake the perceptions

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Everything is relative. X number of people, all from different cultures or backgrounds, witness an event from the same approximate spot. They seperate, then give their accounts of what they witnessed. X number of scenarios are usually described, and probably not one person has described the event totally accurately when compared to a video of that event. No matter the reality, we all key on different actions or situations, according to our culture and experience.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. @JohnZ

      I understood his study to have found that the more we tell little “white” lies (especially self-serving ones), the easier it becomes for us to lie in the future. I didn’t understand it to be saying we adapt to dishonesty when other people tell us lies. In other words, the impression I got was we have to be the ones telling the lies in order for the effect to occur.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We grow up here in the west under near total deception, from the tooth fairy to Santa, the birds and bees and more. Religion is also a front running force acclimating us to accepting deception. I would venture this phenomenon to be a little of both CR. A wink and a nod and continue teaching our kids to accept the Bible as complete truth in many cases even when we ourselves know the fallacies. I see it with the apologists here as well. When you really corner them to a proven problem, they ignore it and say “next” and frequently avoid the hard parts altogether.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Hey Consol

        I see where you’re coming from, he doesn’t really define it very well, but “self-serving dishonesty” doesn’t necessarily have to be lies told to self. There’s benefits for the deceived, if the lie takes them to a place where they ‘want’ to be. Could be wrong, but I suspect the same effect (reduced amygdala sensitivity) occurs in both participants.

        I might send him an email to ask. Be interesting to hear what he says… or even if he looked at that.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Believe it or not, in Western cultures most Hare Krshna followers started out as hippies, then became Jesus Freaks due to psychedelic drugs in the 60s, and then turned on to Eastern religions and became followers of Krshna. It was a trap I saw many friends and acquaintances. (Just a bit of history from someone who was there.)

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I also wonder about the same neurons and addiction pathways as related to politics, especially the far right variety. Trump followers seem much like a cult, which is exactly what religion is. Just like some people are more susceptible to addiction than others. Another is groupies that use to follow rock bands. The people in pink or orange robes that use to haunt airports…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I think that you have to be looking for fulfillment outside yourself, then as the study says- “In contrast, when practitioners surrender their will” which is exactly what Christianity and Islam demand. “Give in and let God” activates the thalamus and while studying the stories and the carefully crafted lies, new pathways are formed. It’s obviously a hard problem to reverse.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. In all honesty, although I was raised in a marginal Christian environment – Church of England – I truly cannot imagine ever throwing in the towel and becoming religious.
        (I probably shouldn’t tempt fate! 🙂 )

        In my experience interacting with online born-agains most have struggled with addiction in one form or another ( drink drugs etc) or depression and/or self esteem issues.
        One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to imagine several names that quickly come to mind.

        Liked by 5 people

    2. Adult conversions? Typically Ark — from what I’ve seen in those situations when I was head-long into Evangy-Fundy religiosity — 75% to 90% (?) — of adult conversions are inside a traumatic life-event.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Substance abuse recovery is the prime example. You give up yourself to higher power and think the rest of your life god cured you, but actually you rerouted some neurology. It shows in the scans. I guess the process has some benefit if it could be framed in a different way would be nice.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. You are exactly right Jim. Medical and psych/addictionology are improving and learning every year, every decade how our mega-complex brains work. We’ll get there for sure… then we’ll go BEYOND those break-throughs! Ahhh, the BEAUTIFUL openness for perpetual adaptation, modification, and progress!!! WoooooHoooooo! Can’t get that in an antiquated CLOSED-OFF religion can you? 😉

          Liked by 2 people

            1. I can’t help but apply this connection to other aspects of life where people feel trapped in a situation. Generational welfare is similar where parents teach their kids the system of defeatism and other aspects of untapped/untried potential. The constraints we trap ourselves with should be grade school curriculum. No one should feel limited by their situation. How often does one teacher make a difference to the right kid?

              Liked by 3 people

        2. I was a pack-a-day nicotine addict for over four decades and eventually went Cold Turkey. ( Nicotine free for 5 years )
          I did ask Jesus for assistance, however, but he said: ”F*** you. I told you ages ago to take up smoking a pipe like me and my dad, but did you listen? Did you buggery! So now, champ, you’re on your own.”

          Liked by 4 people

      2. Yep … based on my reading/understanding I concur.
        Though such an event is often coupled with some sort of addiction that weakens the will and makes the individual more susceptible to peer pressure.
        It does not seem likely such a conversion would happen in a secular environment.
        Much as the average fence-sitter in a christian environment is highly unlikely to suddenly rush to the local carpet manufacturer on hearing of a closing down sale to buy a prayer mat.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Being partial to a psychological, neurological, pathological, chemical-hormonal approaches, all of which contribute and interact to varying degrees of one’s environment and parental/familial upbringing, it is HARD for me not to go deeper, deep enough to peel back what is actually going on ASIDE from general social-norms. Religiosity, IMO, is simply a manifestation or symptom, consequence of a person’s inner functions and genetics… influenced by its immediate environment, including what we consume. None of it has ANYTHING to do with an entity that is bigger than the Universe/Cosmos.

          Liked by 5 people

  12. Really good point on brainwashing eradicating the ability for unbiased free will. It makes me think that the religious indoctrination process isn’t far off from the chemical addiction process that alters the brain and plagues so many substance abusers and their ability to think clearly.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Also, unused parts atrophy. People forget languages they learned and a host of other things when they focus on other stuff. Religion is a trap and once you align your synapses with faith, you’re done.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Well I wouldn’t say you’re done necessarily, since I myself and many others have managed to escape the trap. I think it does take a special kind of person though, not everyone has what it takes to face reality and that’s just a fact sadly.

        Liked by 5 people

  13. They have to want to be free like you and many others here have done. They must be willing to open their minds or they will lose out on much that life has to offer.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. My luck was a long unplanned break from religion. I was able to break away although that was not the plan. Going to the jungle I was able to rest those programmed synapses and get some clarity

      Liked by 4 people

    2. The same flexibility which allows the brain to be “hard-wired” by religious indoctrination also allows it to break free under the right conditions and undo the damage or at least stop being controlled by the hard-wired religious programming. This is shown by the dramatic growth in the number of atheists (even in places like the Middle East where conditions seem very unfavorable), which is being caused almost entirely by people abandoning religions which had formerly infected them, not by people being raised atheist.

      It’s interesting that, even though the old programmed neural pathways easily get re-activated when something re-triggers an old habit, it seems to be rare that people who have abandoned religion return to it. We’re not just slaves to brain wiring.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I like that. It seems the mental addiction to religion, once broken is less recurring than a chemical addiction. One thing in my case. I was raised in the church very hardcore, and when I left is when the good feelings came. That made it easier to stay out.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. Also Mary, they actually feel they already have made the free choice. That’s the stickler. Until you can observe as an outside party, you can’t really see the conundrum you are living.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you were born in a cave and never left the cave, you wouldn’t know that you are not free

        It is the moment you leave the cave that you realize that you have been living your whole life in prison

        Liked by 5 people

  14. I have always had free will. You have freed yourself to have free will, but those in a religious fervor with indoctrination and repetitive thinking, do not. It is their loss.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Jim, what makes them ultra complacent about “change” once deeply indoctrinated is the guarantee(?) of eternal reward at the end. So… once you’re on the BANDWAGON sit back, kick your feet up, and enjoy the rest of the ride toward death. 😬

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Sure. And if doubt creeps in you can rest assured you’re playing it safe. But in the end it’s like a 90’s Seahawks team prevent defense. Protect the lead and lose at the end.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. I had the thought just recently that such conditioned “faith” behavior is as deeply embedded as the tone, manner, and accent of one’s mother tongue… which, for all of us, developed totally UNCONSCIOUSLY… via automatic, involuntary mimicry of the tone, manner, and accent of one’s social circles… sometimes astonishingly so… and now deeply embedded in the unconscious… hardwired into the linguistic and motor neural networks… so much so that one’s native accent and speech patterns… even with intense, repeated, long-term retraining, can be modified somewhat, but never erased.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I have a two year old granddaughter living here while we’re building the house. She hadn’t said a word till about a month ago, and now she’s speaking in sentences. Amazing, quiet, absorptive learning

          Liked by 2 people

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