Maybe my interest in Belief is inherited? My father was interested in belief, carrying on correspondence with Erich Hoffer, author of “The True Believer.” My father’s views on religion were iconoclastic, even though he was raised Catholic. Perhaps he got that from his mother, whose surname was “Hutter.” She, apparently came from the line of Germans whose most distant forebear is Jacob Hutter, founder of the “Hutterites.”
Jacob Hutter was burned at the stake for promoting “seductive doctrines” and as a member of a “heretical sect.” He died February 25, 1536. Has his “genetic” or “memetic” willingness to question orthodoxy survived nearly 500 years in our family line? It seems that’s a testable hypothesis, but would it be because of genetic retention of a “questioning” gene, or mere exposure to a questioning environment?
If a particular fascination with a particular concept can be inherited, that implies the topics themselves… the “memes” are not only replicating elements of culture,but could perhaps exist because of, or be supported by, the minds generated to produce them. Perhaps the “zeitgeist” is an echo of some physical evolutionary tendencies?
Regardless, I was largely insulated from my father’s direct religious opinion, by my mother who raised me as a strict and devout Catholic. Subsequent “remission” from that infection can’t honestly be blamed on my father’s rather limited influence.