Russia Fires Top Geneticist | God's World News

Russia Fires Top Geneticist

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    Alexander Kudryavtsev headed the Russian Academy of Science’s Vavilov Institute of General Genetics before his firing. ( news)
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    Alexander Kudryavtsev says that people once lived for hundreds of years and that modern humans live shorter lives because of sin. ( news)
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    Epigenetic changes can change how your body reads a DNA sequence. (Pixabay)
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    People whose mothers were pregnant with them during the 1944-45 famine in the Netherlands were more likely to develop diseases such as heart disease, schizophrenia, and type 2 diabetes. That is linked to epigenetic changes. (Fotograaf Onbekend/Anefo/CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED)
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A top geneticist. The biblical flood. A sweeping pronouncement. God’s word is causing a stir in Russia’s science community.

In January, Russia’s science and higher education ministry dismissed the leader of a respected genetics group. Before the firing, Alexander Kudryavtsev headed the Russian Academy of Science’s Vavilov Institute of General Genetics.

Kudryavtsev sparked controversy at a global science and theological conference. At the conference titled “God—Man—World,” he contended that humans once lived for centuries. He also asserted that modern humans live shorter lives now because of sin. Talk like that isn’t tolerated in most science groups.

Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported the dismissal. But it didn’t name the reason for the firing.

The UK Mirror states the professor “argued that the Universe, made by God in the process of creation, fell into ‘decay’ due to the sins of people.”

Numerous news outlets report that Kudryavtsev asserted that people lived for some 900 years prior to the biblical flood. (This is consistent with the Bible’s record. Remember Methuselah, Noah’s grandfather? He lived 969 years. See Genesis 5.) Kudryavtsev stated further that “original, ancestral, and personal sins” caused genetic diseases that shortened lifespans.

The Mirror quotes Kudryavtsev: “I wanted to emphasize the harmful influence of so-called bad habits—what theologians call sin. They also affect the genome. ‌If a mutation occurs in your body, . . . it will be passed on to your offspring.” He continues: “‌The conclusion is simple: If you want to have healthy offspring, don’t develop bad habits; don’t fall into sin.”

Kudryavtsev stipulated that his talk “voiced my personal point of view,” not the Russian Academy or the official Church.

Without full context and a knowledge of Russian, it’s hard to know whether parts of the talk are lost in translation. But Kudryavtsev’s claims appear to mesh with a field known as epigenetics. That’s the study of changes in gene expression by environmental and other factors.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health says that factors that promote “epigenetic mutations in humans are similar to known risk factors for cancer, including diet, lifestyle, [emphasis added] and exposure to toxic substances.”

It’s important to note that Jesus Christ defeated sin and eternal judgment for all who believe. Yet sinful actions do have consequences for us and those around us, including children.

The Russian Orthodox Church calls the removal religious discrimination. Fyodor Lukyanov agrees. He heads the Church’s commission on family issues. He believes Kudryavtsev’s dismissal was “for religious beliefs and statements in accordance with these beliefs.”

In Russia, speaking anything other than the official government line may come at great cost.

Why? Those who speak truth often suffer for doing so. (2 Timothy 3:12) That doesn’t make the truth any less true.

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