Study: Religious genes can spread awfully quickly

Religiously observant people have more children than other people do, according to demographic studies. Assuming there’s a genetic predisposition for religion, this means the religion gene could spread relatively quickly throughout a population. Research using new mathematical models demonstrates just how quickly this could happen.

A religious group that makes up only 0.5 percent of a population could make up 50 percent within 10 generations, according to one of the models.

“All people who work in this area know there is a genetic basis to being religious, in the sense there is a genetic basis to all human behavior,” said Robert Rowthorn, a professor emeritus of economics at Kings College in Cambridge, who developed the models.