Breaking: Secularists are wrong – God REALLY exists and he DOES have a beard!! [video]

Craig Venter’s team have succeeded in producing a synthetic bacterium capable of self-replication. The group synthesised from scratch a variant of the Mycoplasma mycoides genome, which they then transplanted into a different Mycoplasma species to produce a bacterium controlled by the synthetic genome. The resulting bacterium could be regarded as the first truly synthetic organism. Earlier forms of genetic engineering have involved modifying the genome of an existing organism; Venter’s group have produced an organism whose genome was instead pieced together from chemical building blocks. […]

In synthesising novel organisms from scratch, synthetic biologists are ‘playing God’, and doing so much more effectively than earlier genetic engineers. They are not just tinkering with life, they are designing and creating it. […]

Venter’s work also challenges the common sense distinction between living things and machines. […]

[…] Synthetic biology means an end to the age of innocence for the life sciences.”

http://www.practicalethicsnews.com/practicalethics/2010/05/venter-creates-bacterium-controlled-by-a-synthetic-genome.html

“One of the most widespread and longstanding moral beliefs is that there is an important difference between living organisms and inanimate machines. […]

By contrast, nobody thinks that it is wrong to destroy, create, or tamper with a machine — even if the machine in question is exceedingly complex. This moral distinction is put in crisis by the synthetic biology projects of Venter and others. Going forward, we will need to find a more meaningful moral distinction than the line between the animate and the inanimate.”

http://www.practicalethicsnews.com/practicalethics/2010/05/synthetic-biology-eroding-the-moral-distinctions-between-animate-and-inanimate.html

“What that literally means is the capacity to be a creator.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8696046.stm

[Update:] Ongoing Q&A with one of the creators of the synthetic bacterial cell: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/c6kd6/i_am_one_of_the_creators_of_the_first_synthetic/