Nobel laureate says “improvement” of human species will not come through genetic manipulation

.- Sydney Brenner, biologist and winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine, says many of the current attempts to “improve” the human race through genetic manipulation are “ridiculous” and he called for focus on a more effective and lasting instrument: culture.

Dr. Brenner, who helped 1962 Nobel laureate Francis Crick to decipher the genetic code, said in interview with the Swiss newspaper “NZZ am Sonntag” that “current attempts to improve the human species through genetic manipulation are not dangerous, they’re ridiculous.”

“Suppose we want a more intelligent man.  The problem is we don’t exactly know which genes to manipulate,” he explained.

Brenner added that “there is only one instrument to transform humanity in a lasting way and that is culture.”

“I explain it like this:  the human brain is more powerful than the genetic patrimony.  Therefore we should concentrate more on cultural evolution, something whose functioning we do not yet know,” said the 77 year-old scientist.

”The important thing is to ask ourselves these types of questions instead of insisting on genetic magic,” he added.

Brenner said the differences in the genetic codes of distinct organisms are very minute.  All animals and human beings share the most important genes.

”We don’t know where the differences are in the codes, but there are no specifically human genes.  There is nothing more foolish than to say as some do that we have found the gene that allows us to speak,” he said. 

”I jokingly respond that I have also found the gene the makes us get fat and it is none other than the one that opens our mouths.  Many people have a sort of ridiculous idea of what a gene is and what I can do,” he pointed out.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees

Liturgical Calendar

July 28, 2014

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:31-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 13: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 13: 31-35

Saint of the Day

St. Victor I, Pope »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:31-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: