I would like to extend the "genetic versus environment" consideration and the idea of genetic determinism philosophically. I think destiny and choice are really one in the same :-) I don't think the idea of destiny weakens choice, I think destiny empowers it.
Dr. David Servan-Schreiber makes a great point about the impact of habits and environmental conditions on cancer. Unarguably, these two variables are major determinants for cancer risk. I would argue that there is a genetic component to habituation and that on an evolutionary timescale genetics "impacts" specific environmental conditions where individuals find themselves, the converse scenarios would also be true.
In regard to people with the realization that lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, etc.) will greatly reduce their risk of cancer, some will make significant changes in their lives, while others will not! Why? Whether by choice or destiny the outcomes are the same. Scientists are trained in and often focused on the mindset of how not why! Again, are these really one in the same?
Habits are interesting beasties. They impact our lives more than most will ever know. Habits affect the way we think and the way our life will "go." I make a point to recognize my habits so that I can change things up as frequently as possible. An awareness of our habits and their deconstruction stimulates the brain, opens the mind to new perspectives and is very refreshing.
Cheers to stimulating Thursday afternoon blog posts :-)