Comment by James Cox on June 27, 2012 at 9:48pm

In the mid 80's, I worked at the bio-chem department of OSU for about 13 months till my work study ran out.

The lab was working on GMO Ecoli bacteria for antibiotic production.

One afternoon I was cleaning equipment and found a tray of culture tubes that were not marked properly for autoclave disposal. I opened one tube and started to wash the contents down the drain before I realized that there were live cultures on the agar slant. I cryed out to my lab partners saying I have possible contamination please get me the damn bleach!. I turned the water off and dumped bleach down the drain. It was doubtful the organism would survive the sewer plant, but we do not know. This was a wake up call for me. We can screw up, and win a hefty Darwin award, for some crazy mistake,if we are not careful. 

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on June 27, 2012 at 10:03pm

Well, if there is an outbreak of super Ecoli then we know who to charge now, don't we, :D

Comment by xi on June 28, 2012 at 11:29am

bio-error. my new favorite term...

Comment by Michael on June 28, 2012 at 1:04pm

This is not abiogenesis nor artificial life in the absolute sense. They have merely reprogrammed  a cell that is already living by removin it's DNA and inserting a DNA molecule that was built form scratch.

DNA is just a molecule that carries the program for the cell processes and is in no sense alive.

Comment by Dale Headley on June 28, 2012 at 1:08pm

Venter has done it again!  This gadfly “scientist without portfolio” has achieved what has widely been believed to be unachievable.  No longer can religionists say, with authority, that only God can create life.  Venter can, and DID!

The Christian retort, predictably, will be that he didn’t create a “soul.”  No, he didn’t, especially since there is no such thing.

The next logical step would be to see if this new bacterium can be induced, through environmental manipulation, to evolve.  Now THAT would really piss off the religionists.

Comment by kOrsan on June 28, 2012 at 1:16pm

This proves that god is real. This new life has a creator right? And ....

See where I'm going with this? Theists will, as always, cream their pants and claim the evidence for themselves saying that this is proof for intelligent design.

Comment by Rob Klaers on June 28, 2012 at 3:01pm

The problem I see with this is along the lines of what kOr said.. Theists see that cars need a maker, as do desks, computers, etc. By association they see that we, too needed a maker. So even if we can create life--- it goes back to life being created by something/one which just plays back into what they say. 

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on June 28, 2012 at 5:48pm

Ok, well then here's a guy working on a means of having life come into being spontaneously...

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on June 28, 2012 at 7:48pm

When Theists say that Scientists cannot create life they often quote Richard Feynman who once said “What I cannot create, I do not understand”. So when Venter’s team where creating their genome they did a very clever thing. They realised that it may not look any different to a natural organism so they coded Feynman’s words into the non-coding DNA section of their own creation. When the replicated strands were analysed and its DNA decoded the line was there along with the names of the scientists involved. This led one of them to ask why an omnipotent god would not have done something similar. So not only was life created without their god, the actual argument they used against such a possibility was also made as redundant as their god is.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on June 28, 2012 at 7:54pm

“DNA is just a molecule that carries the program for the cell processes and is in no sense alive”

Michael - That is so wrong. However I don’t argue science with theists. (Thanks Heather :-)) There are other books – try the “The Selfish Gene” for one.

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