Re: MEDIA: Venter/Celera/Minimal Gene Project

Damien Broderick (
Sat, 11 Dec 1999 07:43:34 -0800


The creation of new, free-living life forms "does not violate any fundamental moral precepts or boundaries, but does raise questions that are essential to consider before the technology advances further," according to the panel, led by Mildred K. Cho of the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics.

Among the metaphysical questions Cho and her colleagues want considered: Is it appropriate to define life in narrow, scientific terms, or is there a spiritual component to being alive? There is a "serious danger," the team warns, that the creation of new life forms will be "perceived by the public as proving that life is reducible to, or nothing more than, DNA."


Ah me oh my. Where would we be without such deep-thinking worryworts? Just imagine the horror - one day, science might prove that vitalism isn't true! (The shock, the horror!) And we'd better put off any more of those blasphemous space probes, in case they smash into the crystal spheres, or run down one of the angels pushing the planets along.

Damien Broderick