Christian de Duve

Genetics of Original Sin The Impact of the Past on the Future of Humanity

“In this book I examine the extraordinary saga of life on Earth in the light of the most recent scientific discoveries. This saga has resulted in the extraordinary success of our species, and in the mortal threats that it has posed for the future.
By favoring immediate benefits, to the detriment, sometimes, of long-term advantages, natural selection, in my opinion, is the source of this remarkable success, but also of the perils that come out of it.
Modern science has established the implausibility of the Biblical tale for the origins of human beings; it has not, however, invalidated the intuition that inspired it. Humanity is, infact, tainted by an intrinsic defect, by a genetic “original sin,” that threatens to lead to its demise. We do indeed need redemption to save us, but it can only come from humanity itself.
We must find in the resources of our minds a wisdom that is not inscribed in our genes.” C. de D.
The book of a great biologist, but also of a moralist.
Christian de Duve, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, is professor emeritus at the Université catholique de Louvain and at Rockefeller University in New York. He is the author of À l'écoute du vivant (2002) and of Singularités (2005) [Singularities: Landmarks on the Pathways of Life], both best-sellers.