Field of Science

Would-be scholar says Obama is a Muslim

Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa has before written provocative and interesting commentaries on what it means to be human. Now he has written something that makes me think he is completely off his rockers. In a post on his blog on Psychology Today, he argues that there is no denying that Obama is as Muslim as Michael Jackson was black. That because Obama's father was a Muslim, so is obama himself also necessarily. Kanazawa claims that being a Muslim is in Obama's genes, and that he can call himself a Christian all he wants, but he will always only be what his genes prescribe.

Crazy, right?

To think that the religion one identifies with is inherited in one's genome, and that it has nothing to do with belief or choice.
Similarly, the fact that Barack Obama’s father was a Muslim Kenyan, descended from a long line of Muslims, will remain true until the day he dies, and nothing he ever does in his life can change half of his genes that he inherited from his father. His genes are for keeps. The fact that he has attended Christian church for the past 20 years is not going to change that. Michael Jackson looked white much longer than Barack Obama sat in the pews of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church. Obama is still as (half) Muslim as the day he was born.
Quite frankly, I find it embarrassing that a scholar would conflate what it means to be a Muslim with genetics. Kanazawa can define what it means to be a Muslim any way he wants, but if he doesn't define it as based on what one believes in, then he just isn't communicating well with the rest of us. If Kanazawa would have his way, there would be no need for missionaries and rules of death against apostasy. You could not convert to Christianity at all, then. Can I not be an atheist, because ancestors of mine were Christians, then?

Pure idiocy, if you ask me.

P.S. Given such views, I find it unsurprising that Kanazawa has elected not to allow comments on his blog.


  1. Wow, I used to think that Kanazawa was simply controversial but this latest one goes waaay beyond that. I mean, it's a self-fulfilling argument.

    Of course, a lot of Christians in the Middle East are genetically indistinguishable from their fellow muslims. But wait, that must mean that they are all really muslims! But wait again, Christianity was there first. That means that all Cuslims in the Middle East are really christians!

    And since Obama is of mixed parentage, with African inheritance, he must be a pagan/Christian!

    Of course, we're all really animists. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just a shame that people deny it.

  2. Yeeeeah.

    When I first read about this, I thought to myself, "Now, that right there is a special kind of stupid!"

    The good news is, all those evangelical types can save their money, time and breath, and stop proselytising---since it is impossible to "convert" anyone from their natal religion/lack of religion. Hurrah! No more JWs a-knockin' at my door!


  3. Ooh! Let's follow this chain of thought a bit further; since there has to have been a time before humans invented gods as explanation, social glue, recipients of blame, etc., ultimately anyone who thinks they are followers of any religion at all, are deluded...since their earliest ancestors were all...*gasp*...natural atheists!

    Now we can get to work re-purposing all those "religious" structures and properties, re-distribute all those chattels (dibs on the Vatican Library!) and taxing all that exempt cash!


  4. This is surprising even coming from Kanazawa. I have long felt that Kanazawa as at least 50% full of shit, and that his views on politics are even worse... but like you guys said, I still thought he had some interesting and provocative things to say from time to time. This is just so over the top.... I'm somewhat baffled!


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