Saturday, April 02, 2005

Twin Research Links Genetics and Adult Spirituality -- Maybe

I ran across this on the Futurepundit weblog.  The headline, Twin Research Links Genetics and Adult Spirituality, appears on the ABC News website, along with Photos: Atlanta Courthouse Shooting, and Sony Launches Mobile PlayStation Portable.  The Atlanta courthouse shooting article is sensationalist, but not really very significant on a national level.  The Sony PlayStation article is amusing, but hardly significant.  The Genetics and Adult Spirituality article shares the virtues of the others: it is amusing, sensationalist, and hardly significant. 
To get at possible causes behind a person's degree of religiousness, Koenig examined surveys completed by 169 identical and 104 fraternal twins. All the twins were men born in Minnesota with an average age of 33 at the time of the survey. The idea was that similarities in faith between identical twins would have a stronger genetic link that those found among fraternal twins.
Of course, the first problem is that the study did not actually measure religiousness.  Since it was done by having people fill out surveys, what they actually measured was survey-filling-out behavior.  What they found is that identical twins fill out surveys the same way more often than fraternal twins do.  Continue reading here.
(Updated 4/3/05)