The Devil Made Me Chew It

My friend Todd sent me a link to an article about our behavior being influenced by evolutionary factors, such as why men are attracted to women who have certain characteristics. I also saw a t.v. program the other day which reported research that determined certain genes which cause obesity. According to this research, people have a weight range determined by certain genes, and it would be nearly impossible to maintain a weight outside of that range.

I don’t dispute the facts presented by this kind of research. It certainly seems likely that many aspects of behavior and appearance are predetermined. Or, rather, there is a predisposition to look and act a certain way. What is important is the gap between potentiality and reality.

The thing that separates us from the animals is not our ability to use tools or speak French. It’s our ability to reason. (By the way, there is also research purporting to prove that free will does not exist, but we rationalize our actions after the fact. The information I have seen about this theory lacks credibility.)

When we can determine more accurately what makes us tick, it can help a lot of people with certain problems. It will, however, cause additional trouble. I foresee a time when people seek to absolve themselves from all responsibility for their actions. We have already seen the beginning of this (i.e. temporary insanity), and it will only get worse. Well, if we’re not responsible for our actions, why does our behavior get so much worse after learning of that “fact”?

What do you think?