Scientists are at the forefront of discoveries about numerous things, including human history and origins.
The latter is largely accepted to have been a product of evolution but the matter remains contentious, especially when it comes to religion.
This was the case of a geneticist who has been dismissed from his job after suggesting that humans used to live for 900 years but that their longevity has been reduced owing to the crimes of their ancestors.
The scientist was among the top in his field.
Dr Alexander Kudryavtsev held a position as the director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, but was fired for his beliefs, according to the Mirror.
At a symposium, he is said to have contended that the universe was created by God but decayed owing to human sin.
As the saying goes, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. However, he supported his claim by pointing at a graph.
He stunned his audience by adding that sin is responsible for mutations in genetic disorders that afflict modern humans.
“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 (a reproductive cell), 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,” the academic was quoted as saying.
Contrary to Dr Kudryavtsev’s claims, modern science points to a shorter lifespan the further back one goes back in history.
“Average life expectancy in ancient Greek and Roman times was 27 years in 200–300 BC. By the year 1900 AD, it had increased to 47 years. Thus, life expectancy had increased by only 20 years during more than 2000 years.
“However, looking back to the end of the 20th century, life expectancy had increased by a further 30 years in a mere century as a consequence of the control of epidemic diseases, treatment of infections with antibiotics, vaccination, and improvements in food and environmental safety,” wrote T Okamura in the 2018 in Encyclopedia of Cardiovascular Research and Medicine.