I came across an AP article that touts the inevitability of man-made synthetic life. The article suggests that this could be a reality within 3-10 years.

Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch, and they’re getting closer.
Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of “wet artificial life.”

“Creating protocells has the potential to shed new light on our place in the universe,” Bedau said. “This will remove one of the few fundamental mysteries about creation in the universe and our role.” [Uh Oh!]

Normal DNA consists of four bases — adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine (known as A,C,G,T) — molecules that spell out the genetic code in pairs. Benner is trying to add eight new bases to the genetic alphabet.

Bedau said there are legitimate worries about creating life that could “run amok,” but there are ways of addressing it, and it will be a very long time before that is a problem.

“When these things are created, they’re going to be so weak, it’ll be a huge achievement if you can keep them alive for an hour in the lab,” he said. “But them getting out and taking over, never in our imagination could this happen.”

There you have it. What could possibly go wrong?

I know these scientists don’t read the bible, but don’t they at least watch horror movies?

Scientist tries to imitate God. Scientist succeeds (or so he thinks.) Scientist decides he must be God. All hell breaks loose and the villagers down below are forced to bring the pitchforks and torches out of retirement. Scientist dramatically asks “What Have I done?”

I am not saying that this research is inherently bad or evil. Rather, that when dealing with the fundamentals of life itself, a little humility goes a long way. Hubris of this kind doesn’t usually end well.

Note: Matthew reminds us that zombies are the usual consequence in A Lighthearted Look at Zombies