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Are humans controlled by genetics?

Abstract: Human beings differ from other animals in that we can control ourselves by rational thought, instead of inherited reactions only.

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Are humans controlled by genetics?

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Question(s): 
Written by: Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 22 Jul 2008.

I have a brother who believes everything is controlled by genetics, that is, one cannot change their circumstances once already born. To me, this is a stupid idea and promotes resistance to change and poor self-improvement. How I can show my brother that he is wrong in his thinking?

Answer:

I do not know whether you can change your brother or not. But human beings also have a free choice between different alternatives. Depending on how you choose, you can get very different results.

One of the main differences between humans and other animals, is that humans are less controlled by genetics and more controlled by learning and personal choice. This is one of the main reasons for the success of the human species.

Experts differ in opinion on to what extent humans are controlled by inheritance. But also those experts who believe that we are partly controlled by inheritance also accept that learning and personal choice is also important.

You could tell your brother that the ability to choose and control your own behaviour is something which is caused by genetic inheritance.

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