Genes do not make a person. However we might howl that, ” I can’t help myself…”, ” It’s in my blood (or genes in our enlightened present) ” and a number of other justifications the fact remains that genes do not make a person.
Twins are most often considered as clones or facets of the same personality. Most twins say that from being treated as a unit and moreover being expected to act as a unit actually creates pressure that causes them to act similarly. As children they consciously suppress impulses to act differently or alone. This fades away with time and most twins establish their own unique identities with ease as they grow old for well balanced children start to question their own inhibitions as they age and overcome them. So they make different choices, acquire different habits and polish inherent traits to different extents to become a distinctive person. The proverbial bond between twins also hinges more on recognition of these distinctions rather than the sharing of DNA.
It seems as though mother nature is amusedly playing with us, revealing tantalizing hints and almost joking with us. Our attempt to establish identity based on the human genome reminds one of a paradox that if parts of a ship are entirely replaced is it the same ship or not? The human life seems to be, if anything a passing spirit made of time, which works differently from all others. Humans are not cogs in a machine that work the same way. Each acquires a different niche as soon as a human is born. So a personality which has characteristics we might call virtues and vices is created by a curious mixture of environment, how we react and the choices we make. And our life is the same. We may not get everything we desire but if a choice is offered us we will chose what makes most sense based on who we already are. And the similarity of clones is only skin deep. It is our desires and determinations that translate our existence into the identity that is uniquely and truthfully our own. We can’t really blame or credit genes or offer them as excuses.