Genome

Bratton, Mark (ed), God, Ethics and the Human Genome: Theological, Legal and Scientific Perspectives (Church House Publishing, 2009).


Following the rediscovery in 1900 of the work of Gregor Mendel (1822-84), there was massive progress in the 20th Century on the cellular, molecular and informational nature of heredity, notably the elucidation of DNA. The culmination of this convergence of chemistry, biology and information sciences was the launch in 1990 of the Human Genome Project (HGP) to:

The Genome, or DNA cell, is a 3 billion sequence and there are 23-25,000 of these in a human body; 90% of our DNA is identical with chimpanzees; 70% with bananas; 30% with yeast.

Almost immediately, sequences of genetic code were patented so that they could be patented and marketed commercial in monopoly situations.

The project raises seven key themes:

Genetic screening:

Religious implications:

Ethics and philosophy:

Moral evaluation:

Changing nature:

On choice:

Overall, the central problem is power and control, the objective of reducing humanity to a mathematical code.

KC/2011