Not the debate we need: On mitochondrial donation

From the rather scant information available (the story having garnered little media attention), it appears that this week’s parliamentary debate on the Government’s mitochondrial donation bill followed a pretty familiar script. That script was written around four hundred years ago—in 1633, to be precise—and featured an ageing Galileo standing defiantly before the Roman Inquisition as it charged him with the crime of heresy for suggesting that the Earth moves round the Sun, rather than the other way about. According to one popular staging of the play, the guilty verdict was met with the words Eppur si muove—‘and yet it moves’—a rebellious assertion of science’s truth in the teeth of religious totalitarianism. But that’s likely a bit of melodrama inserted by Enlightenment boosters. [More here.]