‘Artificial life’ claim could raise moral issue, says ministry leader

From Allie Martin and One News Now.

“The president of an apologetics ministry says Christians should be concerned that scientists are trying to create life from scratch.

In an article published on AnswersInGenesis.org, J. Craig Venter and Nobel laureate Hamilton O. Smith were named as the key players in this venture. Both had a hand in founding Celera Genomics Corp., which deciphered the human genome.

According to the article, they plan to start with the simplest of life forms, Mycoplasma genitalium, which has 482 protein-coding genes with a total of 580,000 letters. The human body has three billion letters with roughly 30,000 to 50,000 genes.

The scientists claim that it will take between three and ten years to create this artificial life and that it will only be visible through a microscope. They say the basic chemicals in DNA would invent new genetic codes, allowing the man-made life form to function and reproduce.

Greg Koukl, founder and president of Stand to Reason Ministries, believes that the venture may prove to be more difficult than planned. “They think that if they make a container and put some stuff in it, some DNA, it’s going to work on its own. But DNA is a blueprint. All it does is give instructions; it can’t build anything,” says Koukl.”

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