Here it is, go read the whole thing. In fact it’s so good that I’ll paste it here. If Pitcher objects, I’ll just leave up the link.
I’m waiting for Prince Charles to say that he’s very worried about thebreakthrough by American scientists in creating “artificial life”. His Royal Highness has form on this; in his worldview, genetics and stem-cell research are activities conducted by mad Dr Strangeloves with crazed disregard for the future of the human race. And, please, don’t anyone say “Frankenstein”.
According to Professor David Deamer of California University, we should have the ability to create a synthetic lifeform from scratch within 10 years. A made-to-order living system could, he claims, produce everything from new drugs to biofuels and greenhouse gas absorbers.
Some religious alarmists will say this is a step towards synthetic, test-tube humans and, as such, an abomination and a hellish bid by arrogant scientists to usurp God’s creation. Indeed, the scientists don’t help their case in this regard by referring to the advance as “a second genesis”.
It’s nothing of the sort, of course. There was only one genesis of the human race. I don’t mean the Bible account; I simply mean that the development of the human race was a unique event. This is not a creationist argument – I’m saying that the human mind is of such potential that its ability to create life itself is inevitable.
In theological terms, the ability of the human species to defeat its own disease and threats to the existence of the planet is a service to the Kingdom of God, to which all three Abrahamic faiths aspire in one form or another. You could go so far as to suggest that these research scientists are not so much building lifeforms as building that Kingdom.
The artificial creation of human life is another matter. But also so far off as to be hypothetical. And by the time we’re able to do that, our ethical standards should have developed sufficiently, God willing, not to need to do so.
Meanwhile, the scientists of California are to be applauded, even by Prince Charles.