Daily Archives: October 18, 2005

Artificial Life?

I just watched Nova Science Now with Max. The first segment was about creating articial life from scratch. They talked to various scientists about what it would take to create life from basic elements. They showed how it might be done. They described how life is defined. The host asked the various scientists what might be learned from creating new life from scratch.

The thing that really disturbed me about the whole segment was that at point in the entire 20 minute segment did anyone ask “Is this a good idea?” I personally believe that we are playing a very dangerous game here. If they do create new life (and I have little doubt that they can) what might ultimately result? Do we create something and then destroy it? What if we create something dangerous? Is this really ethical? I think human’s technical capabilities have vastly outstripped the species’ development of sufficient wisdom about how best to use those capabilities. I believe that we need to slow down and think more about why we are doing things before we do them.