By David Silverman
Here’s where geniuses helped to improve the human lifespan:
Heralding a potential new era in biology, scientists for the first time have created a synthetic cell, completely controlled by man-made genetic instructions, researchers at the private J. Craig Venter Institute announced Thursday.
Tom Deerinck and Mark Ellisman, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, University of California, San Diego “We call it the first synthetic cell,” said genomics pioneer Craig Venter, who oversaw the project. “These are very much real cells.”
Created at a cost of $40 million, this experimental one-cell organism, which can reproduce, opens the way to the manipulation of life on a previously unattainable scale, several researchers and ethics experts said. Scientists have been altering DNA piecemeal for a generation, producing a menagerie of genetically engineered plants and animals. But the ability to craft an entire organism offers a new power over life, they said.
ROME – Catholic Church officials said Friday that the recently created first synthetic cell could be a positive development if correctly used, but warned scientists that only God can create life.
Another official with the Italian bishops’ conference, Bishop Domenico Mogavero, expressed concern that scientists might be tempted to play God.
“Pretending to be God and parroting his power of creation is an enormous risk that can plunge men into a barbarity,” Mogavero told newspaper La Stampa in an interview. Scientists “should never forget that there is only one creator: God.”…
Let me be clear. There is no ethical concern with creating or preserving life. The only danger is that the god of our ancestors will get smaller and smaller until the power of those who make their livings from religion can no longer do so.
Playing god is a misnomer. If I were to play god, I would not heal or create. I’d curl up in a corner somewhere, ignore the world, and make sure nobody ever found a hint of proof that I existed.
The Religious Right cried about Pennicillin (some still do), In-Vitro Fertilization, and Stem Cell research. Now they complain about synthetic cells. Wrong every time, without fail.
Did you notice this time how they hedged their bets? They want to be involved in how this is managed and governed.
Umm. no. Religion is the antithesis of science, and it will be its eventual downfall (and they know it). Religion must never govern science for that very reason.