I find it rather interesting that someone, well a lot of someones, have embarked on what could technically be called one of surest ways to start a philosophical, religious, scientific debate over the very nature of our existence and it's being met with rather little fanfare, though it has popped up on the front of Yahoo! That's where I saw it.
Anywho, I mean, it reads as if this team of scientists will, in the near future, create a completely new single celled organism that will replicate on it's own and I guess begin to evolve. I mean, will there be a "Protocell Project" that will be on going monitoring and experimenting on the evolution of this new life form.
And let me re-iterate that, NEW LIFE FORM. Not some genectically altered stem cell or some amoeba they split and put back together. This thing was made from chemicals and stuff in a lab, engineered from scratch, i.e. "created"... someone else created a life once...
So here are my questions, and let me first say I don't condemn this research, though I'm interested in the ethical questions it will bring up, I mean they plan to experiment on it's evolution, there just seems to be something inherently wrong with that idea.
1. Once it begins to replicate on it's own and "do useful things", I mean, maybe not today, or tomorrow, or a thousand years from now, but eventually, this thing will become a more complex thing, just like all life on Earth. How will growing up in a lab effect it?
2. What are these sceientists views on this "creation's" future. I mean, is it technically alive, are we going to re-define "life" so this thing isn't alive and therefore it can be mucked around with? I know, I know, it's a single cell organism, not even that yet, but still, what would have become of us if someone was poking around the petry dish we crawled out of?
3. Is this how we were created? Are we just a little organism in someone's galactic petry dish?
I don't know, I don't, it's just very interesting to me that someone out there is creating a new form of life that we've never seen. Darwin would love this!
Hmmmm, how will creationists attack this? Sorta takes some of the wind out of your sails when your neighbor is making life in a lab... who knows, I'm sure the Huckster will come up with something... M.R.