Free willIt does seem that people have different views that have little to do with hard scientific evidence.
People have complete control over the decisions they make.
People must take full responsibility for any bad choices they make.
People’s biological makeup determines their talents and personality.
Psychologists and psychiatrists will eventually figure out all human behavior.
Your genes determine your future.
I believe that the future has already been determined by fate.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t change your destiny.
Chance events seem to be the major cause of human history.
No one can predict what will happen in this world.
We know that genes do not completely determine your future, because identical twins often develop significant differences. (Actually identical twins do usually have slightly different DNA, and we now have the technology to distinguish them, but the differences are not thought to be significant.) But for the most part, these questions are largely psychological. We have no scientific definition of a "chance event". Was the election of Barack Obama a chance event, or the product of some long-term trends?
To have a scientific worldview, you have to have beliefs that some things are scientifically determined. But you also have to have some belief in free will if you are going to make your own decisions.
Some people have a fatalistic view of life, and believe that bad things are always happening randomly and out of control. Or bad things that are predetermined to be bad. It appears to me that these are superstitious people who will be hampered in life because they will not take necessary action to avoid trouble.
What is odd is to find smart science professors who do not believe in free will.
Update: A reader asks about DNA tests to distinguish identical twins. See Twin DNA test: Why identical criminals may no longer be safe or Genetic Sleuthing, Or How To Catch The Right Identical Twin Criminal.