History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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May 23rd, 2010 · No Comments

What Synthia Means To Me
Just to be difficult I put this post under technology, and not biology.
Our theme here is ‘evolution’, and the Venter project did not tell us anything about evolution, unless it is the ‘intelligent design’ of the reductionists.

The reaction to the Venter Institute’s synthetic genome transplantation has been decidedly mixed. Is this the beginning of something new and wonderful, the ability to really design organisms from scratch? Is it something more sinister, the beginning of a dark era where techno-corporate (or terrorist) interests can design something that will destroy the environment in catastrophic ways? Is it just a technical advance or a conceptual breakthrough? A philosophical revolution? Is it a Big Deal or big whoop? Synthetic biology has never been just one thing and still has many different goals, with a synthetic genome being just one that most don’t have the resources to work on yet. While we can all hang out and all agree that Synthia is an important breakthrough, most agree that it’s still technically a small step rather than a giant leap, although a step that importantly brings synthetic biology to the attention of many people all at once.

Tags: technology

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