Today’s announcement represents more than just an epic-making triumph of science and reason. After all, when Galileo discovered he could use the tools of mathematics and mechanics to understand the motion of celestial bodies, he felt, in the words of one eminent researcher, “that he had learned the language in which God created the universe.”
Today, we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, the wonder of God’s most divine and sacred gift. With this profound new knowledge, humankind is on the verge of gaining immense, new power to heal.
Former President Bill Clinton on the completion of the first survey of the entire Human Genome Project. [Genome] The remarks were made on June 26, 2000, 10:19 A.M. EDT.
It is as if one is reading a reaffirmation of the following lines from Dante’s masterpiece,
La gloria di colui che tutto move
per l’universo penetra, e risplende
in una parte più e meno altrove.
However I’m fascinated by this speech, made when I was 12 years old, because of it’s importance, rhetoric, the subsequent public reaction and how in many ways, the language utilized by the former President Bill Clinton remains pervasive in discussions about the human genome.
Increasing knowledge of the human genome must never change the basic belief on which our ethics, our government, our society are founded. All of us are created equal, entitled to equal treatment under the law. After all, I believe one of the great truths to emerge from this triumphant expedition inside the human genome is that in genetic terms, all human beings, regardless of race, are more than 99.9 percent the same.
What that means is that modern science has confirmed what we first learned from ancient fates. The most important fact of life on this Earth is our common humanity. My greatest wish on this day for the ages is that this incandescent truth will always guide our actions as we continue to march forth in this, the greatest age of discovery ever known.