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Can Man Create Life?

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Some say that only God can create life from scratch, but it looks as if man is about to do the same -- maybe as soon as within the next few weeks. This article says that microscopic life is about to be created by humans.

 

If this actually happens, are we playing God?

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Nothing wrong as far as I am concerned; just interested in what others think :)

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I just wonder what implications it will have on searching for how life started on earth, or how life comes about in general and what forms it can take. I like this motion as I think evolution offers incredibly complex systems. If something like this were to be fully controlled who knows what it could truly offer up really, sci-fi like living buildings and what not.

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Intrerestingly, we now have proof that man can create life but no such proof for God. Does this mean that if God is subsequently found to be able to create life He is playing man?

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Craig Ventner, famous for work on the human genome, is working on a simplified bacterium that can manufacture hydrogen gas. Not only is this synthetic life, it is useful synthetic life!

 

Is it playing God? That is a religious question. As a non believer, I say: is it playing what?

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I like that the assumption that we're "playing" goes unquestioned.

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If this actually happens, are we playing God?

 

This question is as meaningful as asking:

 

1) If this actually happens, are we playing XPW-377 ?

 

2) If this actually happens, are we playing ZANDRON ?

 

If XPW-377 and ZANDRON are not accurately identified, described and their existence and capabilities proved, these questions are pointless.

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I agree, "Are we playing God" is a truly meaningless question, often asked by people who also happened to be idiots. I would imagine when men first started to use fire, some of the monkeys around him was thinking along the same thoughts.

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can anyone explain why this hasn't been spoken about in a reputable mainstream scientific online website, like sciam or sciencedaily if its legit?

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can anyone explain why this hasn't been spoken about in a reputable mainstream scientific online website, like sciam or sciencedaily if its legit?

 

Probably due to the reality of the subject matter. I imagine if people started making life from "nothing" you might get riots or something occurring out of fear and sorrow or what not.

 

No just playing, one reason maybe simply because the people behind it don’t want to be noticed so much due to restrictions governments might attempt to place on them.

 

I mean the basic building blocks of life where synthesized a long time ago, a guy won a Nobel prize for it then it seemed as if the research dropped off the face of the planet. Most of society already has a hard time buying evolution as it stands, I mean for a while in the states back in our history more so in the south the teaching of such was a criminal offense.

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that's awesome, maybe if you played your cards right you could direct the organisms to evolve into specific things that we need like super plants that breathe more oxygen than the ones we already have.

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Some say that only God can create life from scratch, but it looks as if man is about to do the same -- maybe as soon as within the next few weeks. This article says that microscopic life is about to be created by humans.

 

If this actually happens, are we playing God?

 

I think humans found the chemical reactions that got life from non-life quite a while ago.

http://www.theharbinger.org/articles/rel_sci/fox.html

 

If it is this article http://www.bioinfo.de/isb/2004/05/0016/, all I can say is "yawn". Been done. The cells in the above site do all these things, too. AND have an action potential just like a nerve cell!

 

Now, when you say "only God can create life from scratch" you are presuming a particular method by which God works. You are thinking that God has to pick the molecules and specifically assemble a cell. God has to directly manufacture a cell, IOW.

 

However, the chemical reactions in the website I posted can be just as much "God creating life from scratch".

 

As to "playing God" well, we do that all the time. :) According to Judeo-Christian scripture, we are supposed to do that to the earth. God put us in charge.

 

If you mean: are there going to be possible catastrophic consequences? Yes. But there are catastrophic consequences to all the technology we invent.

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Here is a very recent and very pertinent reference for this topic.

 

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/mg19526114.000?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=mg19526114.000

 

Quote :

 

So when are we likely to see unequivocally synthetic life, with the entire cell built from scratch? "It could be five months or 10 years," says Church. "These things aren't so much a question of timescales as the amount of money available."

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Here is a very recent and very pertinent reference for this topic.

 

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/mg19526114.000?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=mg19526114.000

 

"This is clearly some way from a living cell, and to obtain something indisputably alive the genetic material needs to copy itself, and the vesicles divide."

 

This is the difference between synthetic life and abiogenesis. Humans think they have to include the genome to have "life". They want life with directed protein synthesis. However, directed protein synthesis is not necesary for an entity to be "alive". In terms of abiogenesis, get life first and THEN evolve directed protein synthesis.

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There are lot of synthetic bacterial forms which we use for various chemical processing streams.

 

But i see a great difference in creating a simple unicellular organism and creating a complex multi cellular cognitively active being.

 

myblog: www.pulasthi.info

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There are lot of synthetic bacterial forms which we use for various chemical processing streams.

 

But i see a great difference in creating a simple unicellular organism and creating a complex multi cellular cognitively active being.

 

1. The OP was talking only about humans manufacturing a cell. However, conceptually there is not that much of a difference. True, you need a larger genome with genes for control of embryonic development, but it is really just "more of the same". In the area of artificial intelligence, humans are trying to create a "cognitively active being" but made out of computer chips, metal, and plastic rather than DNA, proteins, lipids, etc.

 

2. If you construe "create life" to "manufacture organisms that are different from ones observed in nature", then yes, humans have modified many species many times. For instance, cell biologists routinely manufacture either knockout mice where a gene is missing or transgenic mice where a gene is inserted into the genome so that a particular protein is overexpressed. This takes an existing genome and modifies it. But it is conceptually similar to taking an existing car and modifying it to make a new model, i.e, a hybrid Toyota Camry instead of the original purely gasoline powered Camry.

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Intrerestingly, we now have proof that man can create life but no such proof for God. Does this mean that if God is subsequently found to be able to create life He is playing man?

 

Not according to religious beliefs. The statement that we are playing God by creating life from scratch is misleading. We would in fact not be creating life from scratch. This is because God is said to have created life from nothing. Technically we would be using God's creation to create life--not our own.

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I think basically the god thing would need to be changed from god created life to god created energy. which is somewhat the same thing but different. if you believe in god this technically would not contradict the bible so much as updating the terms in order to accommodate our increased knowledge of the universe.

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I think basically the god thing would need to be changed from god created life to god created energy.

 

All of you are confusing "God created" with a particular HOW that God created. IOW, each time you say "God created" you are limiting God to one particular method that He had to use: direct manufacture by "miracle" ("out of nothing"). Put differently, you are all using a couple of basic assumptions for which you have no evidence: 1) God must create by "miracle", 2) God is absent from any "natural" process. Put another way, you are all assuming god-of-the-gaps theology and the basic faith of atheism. Without evidence.

 

Why couldn't God create life by chemistry using the method discovered by Fox and co-workers?

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