BRAIN OR DNA?

These days, everything comes down to the constituent parts of our DNA – everything from stature to eye colouring. Scientists have deconstructed us as humans and demonstrated how our behavior and conduct can all be explained by our DNA.

But can it, really? I mean, I’m no scientist, but let’s take the malicious act of whoever it was that recently set off a CS gas canister in the Cross Tavern, Whitburn.

Now, I have shared a room with CS gas, and believe me, it’s not a place you want to be. It’s like gargling with ammonia while bathing your eyes in undiluted vinegar. You will do anything to get away from it, with no thought for whom or what is in front of you.

So, setting off CS gas in a pub is the sort of thing that would be done by a person who had fewer brain cells than a geranium. That’s all down to being malicious and stupid – nothing to do with DNA. And science would appear to agree.

According to research, our DNA is 99% identical to chimpanzees. And chucking a CS canister into a crowded room is the sort of thing a chimp would do. I must say, my first reaction was that I hadn’t realised we were so close. But when I thought about it, and carried out a bit of my own research (without the aid of a massive grant, let me point out) I came to the realisation that 1% is actually A LOT. Otherwise chimps would be investigating subatomic physics, sending probes to Mars and exploring calculus, rather than picking at their ears with twigs.

Apparently, there is only 4% difference between the DNA in humans and that found in limpets, turtles, and a Tesco sandwich that’s past its sell-by date. So there.

Which means, malicious, mean and stupid acts carried out by neds have nothing to do with their genetic makeup. Rather, it has everything to do with their tiny little brains that occasionally manage a minuscule spark between the only two neurons inside their skulls; just enough to keep them breathing… unfortunately.

Drew McAdam

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