So has Craig Ventor finally made the first steps into artificial life?
I don’t know because I only understand a bit of molecular biology and stuff.
But this looks like it’s going to be fun…
Of course, the usual suspects have crawled out of their yurts to raise Cain over geniis out of bottles, Pandora’s box, and playing God. Message to the Greenoluddomoralists – can you please, please for the love of all that is (un)holy invest in a new set of cliches.
If there is one thing that depresses me more than the anti-progress mob it’s the “carful nowers…” I saw some twonk on the BBC calling for “more government control” (worked for the economy eh?) and “broad-based committees”…
Look, Craig Venter does not cackle maniacally in a Bavarian Schloss surrounded by sparking Tesla coils and with an Igor cowering in the corner. He’s got his own research institute in California and it is his independence from the bioethicists and regulators and quangos that is the reason he has achieved things such as supercharging the human genome program. Ultimately these people do not understand science in two ways. The first is that they don’t understand the actual basic sciences and the second is they don’t understand the way science works. They are exactly the sort of people who if they thought something looked “promising” they’d set-up ever multiplying “steering groups” and nothing would get done. Can you imagine if the tribe had convened a mass debate when young Ugg started banging rocks together? We’d still be in cave which of course for some of these people is a feature and not a bug.
I mean they are still diligently blocking a lot of research on stem cells and the deployment (within the EU at least) of GM crops to keep the likes of the Prince of Wales happy.
Anyway, if anyone can get us to the bright sunlit uplands of a biotechnical future it’s Venter. Let’s hope Venter is onto something here and let’s hope they don’t stop him.
PS One final anti-science cliche – they’re meddling in things they don’t understand! Well, of course. That’s how you get to understand them!