Volume > Issue > The News You May Have Missed: April 2024

The News You May Have Missed: April 2024

Sins of the Fathers

Russia’s Ministry of Science and Higher Education dismissed the head of a prestigious genetics institute who contended that humans once lived for centuries and the shorter lives of modern humans are due to their ancestors’ sins (Associated Press, Jan. 25). Alexander Kudryavtsev, head of the Russian Academy of Science’s Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, said at a 2023 conference that people lived to age 900 before the era of the biblical flood, and “original, ancestral and personal sins” caused genetic diseases that shortened lifespans. He also claimed that children “up to the seventh generation are responsible for the sins of their fathers.” Fyo­dor Lukyanov, head of the Russian Orthodox commission on family issues, called Kudryavtsev’s firing a case of religious discrimination. Kud­ryavtsev’s “religious beliefs and statements in accordance with these beliefs violate the ethics of the scientific community,” Lukyanov said. During Soviet times, genetics was “considered a pseudoscience.” Lukyanov claimed that Josef Stalin suppressed genetics in favor of the theories of Trofim Lysenko, who asserted that acquired characteristics could be inherited by offspring.

 

Jim & Tammy Faye Jr.

A Colorado pastor who sold a worthless cryptocurrency to his flock and pocketed $1.3 million insisted he was only doing what God told him to do (Agence France-Presse, Jan. 23). Eli Regalado and his wife, Kaitlyn, face a civil lawsuit alleging they peddled INDXcoin, with divine guarantees that investors would become rich. Around 300 people put $3.2 million into the scheme, even though the Regalados, who run an online church, had no experience in cryptocurrency. Faced with the fraud allegations, Eli doubled down on his message of a God-given mission and confessed to using the cash. “So, the charges are that Kaitlyn and I have pocketed $1.3 million, and I just want to come out and say that those charges are true,” he said. “Out of that 1.3, half a million dollars went to the IRS and a few $100,000 went to a home remodel that the Lord told us to do.” The couple also allegedly spent funds on a Range Rover, jewelry, and snowmobile trips. Regalado conceded, “Either I misheard God…or God is still not done with this project.”

 

Out of Comptrol

New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, who championed a law to crack down on reckless driving, was caught speeding — and not for the first time (New York Post, Jan. 29). Lander was hit with a $50 summons after he promised to improve his dismal driving record, which includes eight prior tickets for speeding in school zones. He has also been issued four tickets for parking in “No Parking Zones” during street cleaning since taking office in 2022. During his campaign, critics accused the self-described progressive of being a hypocrite. “It’s ‘Do as I Say,’ not ‘Do as I Do,’” said state Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar. “And he’s one of the top three elected citywide officials.” Lander acknowledged his troubled driving history. “This is an issue that I have fallen short on myself,” he said, “so I know firsthand how important it is…for all of us to practice responsible driving.” A police detail drives Lander when he’s on duty. The tickets were issued when he was using his personal car, a Toyota Prius.

 

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