Is the statement “A person is the product of seventy percent genetics + thirty percent the environment” true? Are genetic codes effective in faithlessness?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The judgment “A person is the product of seventy percent genetics + thirty percent the environment” is not true. For, the scientific data we have today are not strong enough to be definite evidence for such a judgment.

According to what experts state, every chromosome contains a long strand-like DNA molecule. This DNA molecule consists of thousands of units that are connected to each other like rings of a chain. Hereditary information is kept in the form of special arrangement of these units. This arrangement is called "genetic code". In fact, a code is hidden in each array of the units in the DNA molecule to determine what protein of the cell it will produce. The part of the cell that produces chemicals decodes it and makes the protein necessary for living being.

As it is understood from these explanations, the genetic code is a mechanism designed by divine power and wisdom, which is mostly designed to regulate the biological need of the living body. The test is related to the spirit, mind, consciousness and free will, which are mostly spiritual mechanisms.

The “genetic coding” discovered by the positive science today is a wise reflection of divine sending and predestined sending. The test that Allah Almighty prepared for people is related to consciousness and addresses the mind. For this reason, when man turns the direction of these natural impulses to a wrong path by wrong intervention, the conscious free will of man can intervene and direct this natural impulse that has entered a wrong path to the true path.

Therefore, “genetic codes” do not and cannot necessarily lead people to goodness or evil by force as it is thought. For, the free will of man can say “stop” to this orientation. The duty of the free and conscious will is to function like a brake. The realization of a fair test depends on it. For example, a hungry person cannot say, "I have sense of hunger; so, I can steal."

For a fair test, there must be two opposite poles in the inner realm of man: one that wants good deeds and one that wants evil deeds. This mechanism is composed of heart, mind and lofty feelings that like good deeds and the soul, blind feelings, and lowly feelings that like bad deeds. The realization of these opposite desires depends on the free will of man. A person acts in accordance with the side he chooses and is consequently punished or rewarded.

The idea of the existence of a genetic coding that suspends man's free will and directs it only to evil is purely speculative; it is the product of an approach that ignores the divine justice necessary for the test. There may be some things symbolizing good and bad in genetic codes, but it is never appropriate to think that they are in a dimension that will completely eliminate man’s free will.

A significant number of genetic codes are said to be inherited by heredity. However, the fact that the son of a prophet like Hz. Nuh (Noah) preferred unbelief and Ikrima, the son of Abu Jahl, who was the leader of unbelief, preferred belief is enough to show how debatable this rule is. The proverb “A mad man comes out of a saint and a saint out of a mad man” shows that the issue of heredity is exaggerated in terms of testing.

That Hz. Musa (Moses) was brought up in the palace of Pharaoh, who claimed to be a deity, that Pharaoh’s wife, Asiya, who lived in the same palace as Pharaoh preferred belief, that some people who were brought up in religious families and in a religious environment preferred unbelief or being sinners and that many people who lived in bad families and in a bad environment preferred belief and Islam show clearly that the environment is not an element that forces the test on its own. That many non-Muslims preferred Islam by using their minds and their free will throughout history is a clear indication that a fair test is in question.

“Every child is born with an ability to accept Islam, the religion of fitrah, but his parents and environment make him a Jew, Christian or a Zoroastrian.”

The expression the hadith above indicates that there is no traffic sign showing a compulsory direction in the test area. That the children of some sinners turned out to be righteous people and that the children some righteous people turned out to be sinners is an irrefutable evidence of this fact.

“Say, ‘The truth is from your Lord’: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it).” (al-Kahf, 18/29)

What is the value of the scientific theories that are always speculative and the words of the materialistic scientists-philosophers who regard it their duty to use those theories against the realities of the religion in the face of Allah’s clear decree showing that man has the right to choose based on his free will in the verse above and in several similar verses?

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