The human race is deteriorating genetically as a result of scientific medical advancements, says Rolf Hoekstra, Professor of Genetics at Wageningen University.
Mr Hoekstra believes that medical treatments interfere with the natural selection process and illustrates his point using the example of genetic infertility. Genetic infertility will probably increase due to the availability of medical techniques such as assisted reproductive technology, he says. The increase in infertility will take several centuries, but would take a lot longer through regular natural selection.
Professor Hoekstra is not opposed to advancements in medical science, “The previous century has shown us to what sort of barbaric behaviour eugenic governmental measures lead,” he says, “But we’ll have to accept that there is a downside to desirable behaviour.” He fears that medical advancements might have some unwanted side-effects in the future, such as an increase in the affordability of medical treatments.
Professor Hoekstra will give his farewell lecture at the university this Thursday.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide