Hmmm. I hope you will understand my slight nervousness at posting on the philosophy forum with all of its tight rules and circling, predatory mentors. My hope is that by following your instructions closely I’ll avoid the awful finality of those thread closing talons. So, moved from the Homosexuality thread on the Biology forum: Yes, Ryan, I take the point about just how complex a question this is in terms of hoping that science will ever be able to provide anything close to definitive answers. I wonder if I might coax you into answering a particular point of interest to me. I am conscious that I might be accused of going off-topic, my hope is that people – and in particular the OP - can see that I am only actually stretching the principle that underlies the question of a genetic programming for homosexuality. Perhaps the bigger problem is that, as I do understand and with all due acknowledgement of your knowledge and expertise Ryan, I am inviting you to make a speculative response. But I am interested in your thoughts. In any case, the point is that greater minds than mine have spoken of the possibility that every human action, every human decision, would have its ultimate explanation down in the quantum interactions of the atoms and subatomic particles that make up the brain – or perhaps it would be better to say the central nervous system. The contrary view would be that somewhere between the quantum level and the actual behaviour of a human individual, there are points at which some level of not randomness necessarily, but certainly some form of scientific unpredictability operates. Perhaps I can better relate it in this way: If you watch the water coming over the edge at Niagara Falls, you might take the ‘clockwork’ view of the universe and believe that, however hopelessly complex an endeavour it would be, theoretically it would be possible to trace the interaction of every atom in every molecule of water – and all the impurities in the water – and give a precise explanation for how every droplet of water broke away from the main body as it came over the edge; how every splash at the bottom of the falls leaped to the height that it did, how every bubble of foam was caused to appear. Alternatively, you might think that the universe is not so clockwork, and that something of the uncertainty of the quantum world ultimately makes it impossible to explain every action of the water as it comes over the edge, no matter how great the endeavour made to explain it. And, absolutely vitally, let me make it clear, I am not trying to make some deeply philosophical point about the dignity of human life rising above the inherent reductionism of science, I am just interested in what someone with your kind of expertise in biology particularly and understanding of broader science generally feels about that. Is it likely that we are ultimately, a prisoner of our genes, of the chemical reactions that drive us, of the quantum interactions that underlie those chemical reactions, such that theoretically, one day science might be able to completely explain us? Or do you think that such a question is doomed to remain for ever more a purely philosophical one? Or do you not care to speculate? I quite understand if you don’t.