Craig Venter creates synthetic life form

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Too Dark
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Craig Venter creates synthetic life form

Post by Too Dark » Fri May 21, 2010 12:53 am

"L'éternité, c'est maintenant."
Bik
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Re: Craig Venter creates synthetic life form

Post by Bik » Fri May 21, 2010 7:53 am

However critics, including some religious groups, condemned the work
I didn't see that reaction coming :lol:
"Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion." Superintendent Chalmers
bipedalhumanoid
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Re: Craig Venter creates synthetic life form

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Fri May 21, 2010 9:24 am

LMAO @ Bik.


I've never been able to understand what people are accusing scientists of with the "you're trying to play god" accusation.

He has denied the accusation. But if the accusation can be interpreted as "you're trying to create life"... well how can he deny that?

I'd be inclined to answer, shit yeah and I did it too. Where's me nobel prize?
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
Ygern
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Re: Craig Venter creates synthetic life form

Post by Ygern » Fri May 21, 2010 10:09 am

Accusations of playing god are like the whimperings of a frightened child: a meaningless statement from someone who declares themselves ignorant of what they are criticising. You can try to educate someone like that but it probably won't help.

Most people seem to view genetics as a cross between Frankenstein and The Island of Dr Moreau as if slightly hysterical shlock-horror pre-Victorian novelists were the end word on the subject.

Again, its pure ignorance. I find that if you start to point out the potential medical breakthroughs of certain lines of investigation then people are more willing to consider it. Its not going to help in the case of creating life in the lab; but then people who object to this are not so much afraid of the science as they are of the theological implications: if humans can create life then either life on earth didn't need a Creator or else the Creator is nothing special.

[edit] Welcome to the forums, Too Dark
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
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Bik
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Re: Craig Venter creates synthetic life form

Post by Bik » Fri May 21, 2010 11:54 am

- But could it wipe out humanity?
It's not like the Daily Heil to go over the top in it's reporting - oh wait, it is! :D

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... anity.html
"Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion." Superintendent Chalmers
Lee
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Re: Craig Venter creates synthetic life form

Post by Lee » Fri May 21, 2010 12:14 pm

OMG, I can't believe they used the Will Smith Movie. That is sooooo funny. They always get so hysterical over this kind of thing.
I have to say though, it would have to monitored cause some swine will more than likely corrupt it but the benefits so outweigh the risks!!
I think they just like making noise.

Can't wait until they commercial market the pollution reducing bacteria as a oven cleaner!!! Ooh or dust mites that eat the dirt or something !! :D
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Re: Craig Venter creates synthetic life form

Post by marklen » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:31 pm

If you wanted to wipe out human life you'd have a better chance of taking an existing organism and making some small modifications. For example, make common cold a little more virulent or make ebola a little less virulent (its own virulence works against it).

Only an organism hardened by evolution and recent exposure to the real environment, maybe with some antibiotic resistance, is of any threat to us. And the techniques for making changes to existing organisms have existed for years.

Venter's technique does not represent some new kind of threat.

Venter's work is about creating a working organism from a digitally stored copy of the DNA. So in theory you can now email bacteria!

In the long run we could learn a lot about life from editing / DNA and creating new bacteria in this way.

What we learn might be dangerous, but that is the case with all science.
marklen
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Re: Craig Venter creates synthetic life form

Post by marklen » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:39 pm

Also, I'm surprised the Daily Mail didn't say that it could cause cancer...
http://kill-or-cure.heroku.com/
inedifix
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Re: Craig Venter creates synthetic life form

Post by inedifix » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:58 am

bipedalhumanoid wrote:I've never been able to understand what people are accusing scientists of with the "you're trying to play god" accusation.

I'd be inclined to answer, shit yeah and I did it too. Where's me nobel prize?
I'd love to here him respond with something like: "Of course I'm not trying to play god. Why aspire to the role of a fictitious creator when I can be a real one."
“What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher. What we can't understand we call nonsense. There is no free will. There are no variables. There is only the inevitable.” Chuck Palahniuk
Ygern
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Re: Craig Venter creates synthetic life form

Post by Ygern » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:46 am

The "playing god" tag can also equally be attributed to those individuals who wear glasses to correct their vision instead of fumbling through life half blind the way God intended. Or those people who have the nerve to say "Let's try for a baby" - who do they think they are trying to create life by themselves? Or those people who board airplanes to fly to another location instead of going on a donkey the way God obviously approved of. Or those truly looney individuals who get medical treatment to help with diabetes, heart disease to prolong and improve their life instead of suffering and dying the way they are obviously meant to. Let us not even consider those insufferable God-players in emergency rooms who actually save accident victims from certain death every day.

In short, the "playing God" accusation is a sign of seriously sloppy thinking.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
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