Free will is one of the conundrums of human existence.
Are we really free-lance actors in an experimental theatre or is someone, indeed, ‘pulling the strings’? Has it ‘all been written’ so that a fortune-teller or psychic reader can merely decipher the text? Certainly, much has been written in the book of DNA handed everyone at birth, and much has been written in the culture one is socialized into. Nevertheless, there are many opportunities for independent action. One can only play the hand one is given, but one can certainly play that hand any number of ways. On the extrapolated level of nations and races, much can be made of the advantages ‘given’ the West by virtue of its descent from cultures of the Mid-east and the cereal grains inherited, as put for in ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel’. No, that’s not a rock group, but a brilliant tome, if flawed ultimately. Human history is largely one of cultural evolution, including food production, not nutritional evolution. The argument is self-defeating. Food production beyond mere subsistence can be achieved quite naturally in any number of ways, depending on the geographic and historical, including cultural, milieu. Once accomplished, culture is free to plot the future of its race to the finish. That is the true story of history, as I see it.