Apparently, Britain is set to become the first country to have three parent babies! It’s all to do with genetically modifying an embryo to prevent certain inherited diseases. But as with many scientific advances folks like us are left worrying about the scientific and ethical implications.

Professor Denis Alexander is the Emeritus Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, a molecular biologist, and an author on science and religion. So he seemed like the perfect person to explain all (which he does, in a brilliantly professory type of way…).

Image provided by Deryck Chan/Wikimedia. Used with permission.


Beyond Belief: Science, Faith and Ethical Challenges

Creation or Evolution: Do we have to Choose?


“If we really love our neighbour – if we really love these parents who’ve already had a child with a devastating mitochondrial disease – then I think love certainly shows us that we should do all that we can in our power to help those parents to have a child who’s genetically almost entirely their own genes – not 100 percent, but 99.8 percent genetically their own – and who can be guaranteed not to have a mitochondrial disease.”

“I suppose I see the soul more in its sense of the way the word is used in Hebrew thought, where mind, body and soul are presented to us often in the Old Testament as the unity of personhood with three different aspects. So, the soul as we read through the Hebrew text almost seems like the real me, the real ‘I,’ that real person. It’s referring to all that person is – especially, of course, as they have capacity for relationship with God. And it seems to me that capacity is something that develops – it’s not something which is sort of ‘plugged in’ to the early fertilized egg, almost like a memory stick plugged into a laptop or something like that. No, this is something which develops.”


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