A leading geneticist in Russia has been fired after his comments on human lifespan sparked a controversy in the country. Dr Alexander Kudryavtsev was sacked as head of the Russian Academy of Science’s Vavilov Institute of General Genetics after he claimed humans once lived for 900 years but the lifespan is shortened now due to the sins of our ancestors. According to Metro, he made the statements last year during the Third International Scientific and Theological Conference ‘God – Man – World’.
During the conference in Minsk, the 60-year-old scientist said people had lived for some 900 years before the era of the Biblical Flood and that ”original, ancestral and personal sins” caused genetic diseases that shortened lifespans. He also claimed that children ”up to the seventh generation are responsible for the sins of their fathers,” according to the Russian news website Meduza.
He stated that sin was the cause of mutations in genetic diseases harming modern man.
Dr Kudryavtsev explained saying, ”I wanted to emphasise the harmful influence of so-called bad habits – what theologians call sin. They also affect the genome. If a mutation occurs in your body, in your gametes, it will be passed on to your offspring, and nothing can be done about it. The conclusion is simple: if you want to have healthy offspring, don’t develop bad habits, don’t fall into sin.”
He said many atheist scientists may blame genetic decay on radiation or pollution, however, he believes ”such destruction is initiated by original sin, aggravated by ancestral sin, and personal sin too.”
”I would like to state that I voiced my point of view. It is in no way the position of the Russian Academy of Sciences, nor the position of the Church. All this does not affect the work of the Institute of Genetics in any way,” he further said, adding that genetic mutations ’caused by sin’ could affect up to seven generations.
The Russian government did not give a specific reason for his dismissal. However, Fyodor Lukyanov, the head of the Russian church’s commission on family issues claimed that the sacking was ”for religious beliefs and statements” in accordance with belief that ”violate the ethics of the scientific community.”