Cesar Koppe-Grisolia, Department of Genetics and Morphology, Institute of Biological Sciences; Cathedra UNESCO of Bioethics. Universidade de Brasília, Brasilia, Brazil


What is the real weight of the influence of socioenvironmental factors on the modulation of gene expression and on the control of our behavioral characteristics? These social pressures modify gene expression, being transmitted to offspring by means of epigenetic changes. The selfishness, avarice, violence, and nepotism were marked epigenetically in ancestral genes by psychosocial pressures. How can one then assign any value judgment to bad behaviors, if this is an innate, instinctive characteristic that was inherited by group selection? Changing the transgenerational transmission of those genes involved with bad social behavior, by changing their gene expression through biosocial pressures based on morality, ethics, and social justice, would we be carrying out a kind of negative epigenetic eugenics? We are talking about our ethical responsibility for genetic makeup of the next generations.



Keywords: Social behavior. Epigenetic eugenics. Biosocial. Selfishness.