by Albert Mohler
The cover story of the June 2010 edition of Scientific American presents “12 Events That Will Change Everything.” Those events include human cloning, an asteroid colliding with the earth, a worldwide pandemic, and the creation of synthetic life. Each of the twelve proposed events is evaluated in terms of likelihood. The article on the creation of synthetic life ranks the probability of that event as “almost certain.”
Consider that a case of an argument made too late. Just days ago, Dr. Craig Venter and his associates announced the achievement of the first synthetic life form, a bacterium with DNA sequenced entirely by computer — a human-designed life form.
The international media have seized upon the news, published officially in the journal Science. In rather clinical language, Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, described the achievement. The journal explained that Venter and his associates “describe the stepwise creation of a bacterial chromosome and the successful transfer of it into a bacterium, where it replaced the native DNA. Powered by the synthetic genome, that microbial cell began replicating and making a new set of proteins.”
That is the stuff of which scientific breakthroughs are made, and no one is suggesting that Venter’s achievement is dubious in terms of scientific legitimacy. For years, Venter has been known to be working on such a project, with the express goal of creating a synthetic life form. Just a few years ago, he and his team announced a breakthrough in the technology that opened the door for this new development…
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