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Genes affect your choice

By Dr: Do'soky Abdalhalim

   It is has been a prevailing attitude among the philosophers and scientists that the character never changes

; a virtuous character will remain virtuous while the evil one will remain virtuous.

Many scientists thought that the reason behind the unchangeable character is genes. According to this claim, a man's qualities (good or bad) are unchangeable and that he is destined to act like this or that according to his Genome- a claim that contradicts the Holy Quran and the hadeeths.

God says in the Holy Quran:

 And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it (7) And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness, (8) He has succeeded who purifies it, (9) And he has failed who instills it [with corruption]. (10) uran

And also He says what means:

And have shown him the two ways? (90:10)

 

So according to these holy verses man can choose between either two  ways in any time in his life and thus what is claimed to be based on genes is just a fallacious hypothesis that has never been scientifically established.

Modern studies about the interrelation between hereditary genes and man's behaviour show that this  theory is wrong.

When the genetic engineering budded into life and man could successfully unveil many of the hidden secrets about the human genome and many of the animals', scientists began to wonder if there is any interrelation between the human behavior and genome or, in other words, if there is  any internal and external reactions towards any internal or external stimulants?

In the last ten years, a study was run on many animals and the conclusive result was" genes affect the psychological and behavioral in human beings and many animals.

The question for which many other studies have been run  was" what is the number of genes necessary for all the behaviours of a human being or animals?"

In an experiment run on rats, scientists could count the number of genes in rats, they found that the total number of genes in rats is"24000" genes. Each gene has a specific function, there is a gene for operating the heart, a gene for operating the lungs, a gene for operating the respiration, a gene for operating the stomach and so on. All of these genes are not under the human control. These genes are known by the name "constitutive genes".

Another number of genes have been found, these work only when necessary, these are always affected by the surrounding conditions, these were given the name" Facultative genes"

When the scientists focused their observation more to find which of these genes affect the human behavior, they found that these can be  classified under the second group.

To their surprise, they found that the total number of genes which can lead the behavior in the rats must be 80,000 genes while the total number is just"24000" genes.

 This made them conclude that there is no any relation between the number of genes in the genome and the behavior, this point was subjected to further studies, and they finally concluded that there is no actual need to a large number of genes to control the behavior because just one gene is not necessarily responsible to give just one function but it actually participates in giving different kinds of behaviors, these genes were given the name" multifunctional genes."

Acceding to these findings, it has become scientifically believed that just a few number of genes can give various behaviors.  In a study run in 2006 on a number of peoples for 20 years to identify the roles that genes form in the human character, scientist found that persons( aged 40-60)  tend to be more mentally  and passionately stable, it has been found that persons aged more than forty are less responsive to new ideas and experiences. 

Each of these traits were based on genes and the most striking discovery is that genes' effect  become less when a person become old and that the environment plays a more important role than that of genes in forming the personality in such age, thus the accumulating experience has its role. God says in the Holy Quran what means in this regard:

And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims." (46:15)

 

In a more recent  study, Karoul Doeik, psychology professor, says just a very simple situation may affect someone's character to the extent that successive effects ensue- these are thought to have been inherent in genes, these were once believed to be hereditary. 

 Later many studies were run which eventually ended with a very important conclusion, this conclusion says, " …though human behaviors are connected with genes, many of these can be modified and changed and they are dynamic, flexible and susceptible to the continuous change along the   lifespan.

In an article published in" Current Direction in Psychological Science", Dr Doueik says" …features such as the way to treat the others, the way you see yourself and the others and the way you behave in such situations-though hereditary by nature and connected with genes- are changeable.

In another study, a shy baby by nature, though feared others and was very shy to talk to the others, was completely changed and became normal at the age of 12.

 Moreover, further experiments prove that the social information has the ability to change the genes inside the brain in a way that could change the animal behavior. The DNA, scientists say, are not unchangeable but rather these can be affected by the experiment that a person undergo. To  think that your intelligence is stable and that can't be changed is proved to be a fallacy by scientists; it has been found that intelligence is negatively and positively affected, this depends on the challenges you face and your ability to treat with. Doueik says that if you change your opinion about yourself, this will surely help in improving yourself as your genes will help you.

In the last five years, scientists have become more than certain that the successive experiences can foil the work of some genes and galvanize the others.

In brief, the claim that man is just some genes that form his character is false- an allegation that Molecular Biology proved it to be false.

Contrary to what you think about yourself, -just a word or a sermon you receive or just a simple social experience can change the work of your genes.

Praise be to Allah, Who created for you two kinds of genes: the fist to run your body and the second to use in choosing between two either ways.

1-The Holy Quran

2-Ethan Watters (2006): DNA Is Not Destiny: The new science of epigenetic rewrites the rules of disease, heredity, and identity.

3-Discover magazine (http://discovermagazine.com/2006/nov/cover)

4- Pierre L. Roubertoux and Michèle Carlier (2007): From DNA to mind The decline of causality as a general rule for living matter. EMBO reports VOL 8: pages 7-11.

5- Carol S. Dweck (2008): Can Personality Be Changed? The Role of Beliefs in Personality and Change. Current Directions in Psychological Science, December 2007, page 391-394