Our DNA makes us human. That much is irrefutable. The debate comes when we ask the question of what makes a person the unique individual he or she is. Spiritual people would say that the most important factor is a person’s spirit. Rational people disagree. As children, we are creatures of pure emotional desire. We want what we want, and to not get it is the end of the world. Experience teaches us to ignore what we want, and experience is simply the memory of having been through something.
Knowledge is also just a memory of having learned something. Memories make us who we are. That means that we are constantly becoming different people, and as time goes by, we are becoming more and more different from who we used to be. Sure, attributes we’re born with affect some of our experiences and catalyze the creation of certain memories, but it’s still the memories that are important.