Pseudo-Life

by Tony

From my website: http://www.creation-club.org/1/post/2010/05/pseudo-life.html

Bold headlines were appearing across news outlets this week screaming virtually the same bewildering question: Had life been created in a lab? A team of scientists from UCLA successfully produced a self-replicating cell running on computer generated DNA. The science-fiction-like feat was boasting some impressive hype, but did J. Craig Venter and his team actually create life?


The team, thanks to fifteen years of research and countless trial and error tests, constructed a bacterial chromosome copied after another. Despite clever news splashes and media frenzy, life had not been created from scratch. The synthetic cell was merely chromosomes in one bacteria cell being replaced by that of another. J. Craig Venter more explicitly lays out the details:

"We announced the first cell that is totally controlled by a synthetic chromosome, that we designed in a computer based on an existing chromosome. We built it from four bottles of chemicals.. that's over a million base pairs [of chromosomes]. We assembled that and transplanted it into a recipient cell and that new chromosome started being read by the machinery in the cell, producing new proteins, and totally transformed that cell into a new species coded by the synthetic chromosome."(1)

However, the team is quick to acknowledge that the feat was not creation of life - just a re-constructing of it. It is still pre-existing information - information that cannot be created in a lab. Venter elaborates, "We created a new cell. It's alive. But we didn't create life from scratch. We created. As all life on this planet is. Out of a living cell" (1). This is no different than mere "alteration within a kind (at the family, genus, or species level)" (2).

Even though the research was technically successful, the bacteria still did not function flawlessly. Many of the synthesized genes did not function correctly, and those genes which did behave were deemed useless for human purposes. In fact, all the cell essentially did was grow and reproduce. (3)

Answers in Genesis' molecular geneticist Georgia Purdom describes the genetic cell as being like "taking the hard drive of computer #1 and putting it into computer #2 that has had its own hard drive removed. So effectively computer #2 becomes computer #1" (2).

Dr. David Menton (PhD, Biology) of Answers in Genesis adds that the research was "genetic plagiarism" in a sense as it took the handiwork of God and "refashioned it". (2)

God created the heavens and the earth, including all Life, approximately six thousand years ago as revealed in the first chapter of Genesis. All the pre-existing information and original "handiwork" was the result of God's creation. Without it, research like this would be completely impossible. Millions of dollars, brilliant scientists, and hallmark technology and laboratory equipment still cannot create anything remotely close to life.

Sources:

1)
"Scientist: 'We didn't create life from scratch'." CNN. 21 May 2010. Online. Accessed 21 May 2010.
2)
"News to Note" Answers in Genesis. 22 May 2010. Online. Accessed 22 May 2010.
3) Bland, Eric.
"It's alive! Artificial DNA controls life." MSNBC. 20 May 2010. Online. Accessed 22 May 2010.
4)
"Potential of synthetic life milestone for science." BBC. 21 May 2010. Online. Accessed 21 May 2010.
5) Dador, Denise.
"Scientists create first synthetic cell." ABC7. 21 May 2010. Online. Accessed 21 May 2010.
6) Goodman, T.
"A New Era In Science: 'Synthia' The First Synthetic Life Is Created." Inventor Spot. Online. Accessed 22 May 2010.

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Comment by Tony Breeden on June 2, 2010 at 1:36am
What I like to point out is that all of these experiments to attempt to create life really only demonstrate how improbable life would be to spark ON PURPOSE and, of course, how impossible that it should ever have happened by chance.

I'm aware that some evo scientists believe that life is simply inevitable, a function of a self-ordering universe, but if that were true they wouldn't be so all-fired hard at trying to create life in a test tube - they'd simply point to it in nature [because it wouldn't simply be inevitable once]. In fact, some evo scientists believe that life came to be not once but several times, going extinct each time until the most recent one obviously. That only makes things worse; why did it stop?

We certainly don't see life coming to be by unintelligent causes today! Even the scientists trying to prove that life comes about without the aid of intelligence are using their intelligence to try to prove their laughable theory with their self-refuting experiment. That does not seem very intelligent, so perhaps they're attempting to disqualify themselves in that capacity to add validity to their claim.

Think about it!

Rev Tony Breeden
DefendingGenesis.org

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