But as we have learned over the last 30 years we dealing with a form of religious belief called by Dick Lewontin in another context,  Darwinian fundamentalism. Such beliefs are not moved by evidence and argument.


In my view these beliefs are less religious and more political.  Genetic determinism is both an outgrowth of and foundation for the ideology of individualism. It is also (as the oft referenced Lewontin has pointed out) a nifty resolution to the contradiction between the lofty ideals of bourgeois democracy (access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the bit about all men being created equal, the notion of social mobility that is supposedly unique to this system, etc. etc.) and the reality of the grotesque inequality that pervades our society.

On the other hand, I don't believe religion is necessarily individualistic.  As a matter of fact, religion was a main tool for the maintenance of feudal societies, long before notions of individual freedom had even been developed.  

Finally, the fact that these (and other pseudo-scientific) "findings" appear in the pages of the New York Times leads me to believe that they serve a primarily political, rather than religious, purpose. 

-Alex