"Dude! It's like looking in a mirror!"

This TED Talk scares the shit out of me. Especially Venter’s breakdown of the process where he says, “…transforming that cell into a new bacterial species.”.

I’m not religious by any stretch of the imagination, but my beliefs aside, I can’t say that I agree with the path this research has taken. It’s one thing to research and develop a way to cure alzheimer’s, cancer, malaria, or any number of other diseases, but it’s another thing ENTIRELY when you go past ‘playing’ God to actually playing with His toolset to create a new form of life from scratch. Yet lo and behold, with 15 years of pondering and tinkering, we’ve got ourselves a computer-program-created recipe for life, with it’s own URL.

Seriously? With it’s own URL? Written into the genetic code?

No, really, seriously? Isn’t that like etching your name on the knife that made God bleed?

I realize that this post may ruffle some feathers, but my God, if your feathers weren’t ruffled by the arrogance and forced humility shown in this talk, then I’m glad it was me who finally did (it is called Expect Sparks after all).

“This is the first self-replicating species that we’ve had on the planet who’s parent is a computer.”

I beg your pardon? How in the hell could anyone, particularly scientists, expect to anticipate how this new species will change or evolve? Granted, this is an extremist point of view and I’m certain that this new bacterial strain will be quarantined and kept under lock and key in a tiny agar dish, but… what if?

Maybe not so far-fetched after all?

Didn’t anyone see the movie “The Andromeda Strain“? Didn’t any of these guys read Stephen King’s “The Stand” or play “Resident Evil“? Sure, these are FICTIONAL stories and describe the absolute worst case scenarios, but keep in mind, Gene Roddenberry invented the flip-front cell phone in the 1960’s (“Beam me up, Scotty,”) … and let’s not overlook all the well-intentioned chemical discovery side-effects of the past like Agent Orange –

A defoliant used to thin jungles in Vietnam, based on the originally developed chemical growth hormone meant to adapt soybeans to a short growing season. Source: Wikipedia

Looking at this paradigm (develop a way to feed more people quickly with a chemical that kills and mutilates people more effectively than anything ever invented), it’s not that hard to think: What if?.

I guess if this experiment does go to shit, at least we’ll be able to decode the DNA of the bacteria and log onto it’s website to see who made it… you can’t do THAT with God’s creations.