At least Craig Venter is honest in saying his team didn’t create life from scratch, even if some of the media are getting carried away with it. He has an interesting result, for sure, but even the statement that they have synthesized man-made DNA is a little suspect to my mind. Everything I’ve read says quite plainly that their genetic code is based on information contained in already existing genetic databases. The experiment gives a little more understanding that “life” is more than a specific sequence of DNA instructions, but what exactly is it? The instructions (the operating system) or the machinery (the computer) or something else? Neither the DNA nor the cell structure can “live” apart from each other, but Mr. Venter has definitely proved that, at least in this case, with a little tweaking you can switch Windows 7 for OS X and still have a working computer.
I still remember one of the first Christian radio programs I was exposed to after the miraculous radio station change in December 1997 – R. C. Sproul’s Renewing Your Mind. The very first series that came on the next time I was driving to work for a total of 6 days (Monday through Friday, then Monday – I could hardly wait for that weekend to be over because I wanted to hear the “clincher” of the argument so bad) was called “Creation or Chaos.” The question R.C. asked that still rings in my mind was, “How do you get life from nonlife?” In all my years as an atheist, I had either ignored that little detail or naively swallowed the primordial soup line. Craig Venter clearly hasn’t gotten life from nonlife, and he admits that (someone clue in the news media). He has taken an existing living cell and changed it’s instructions by removing the original set, modifying the information contained in the instruction set of another living cell, and inserting the new instructions back into the first living cell. He has created a new arrangment of already living organisms, but he hasn’t touched the underlying problem of secular science - How do you get life from nonlife? Reminds me of a joke -
One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.
The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we’ve decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t you just go on and get lost.”
God listened very patiently and kindly to the man and after the scientist was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this, let’s say we have a man making contest.” To which the scientist replied, “OK, great!”
But God added, “Now, we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.”
The scientist said, “Sure, no problem” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.
God just looked at him and said, “No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!”
Oh, yes. It took 15 years of research, $40 million dollars, and a whole lot of intelligence to cook up this little switcheroo?
Will scientists get closer and closer to figuring out the specific “stuff” that makes one thing alive and another not? Yes. Will they every be able to create “life”? Not without borrowing something from something else that’s already alive.by beakennedy
I’ve got a couple. First is Psalm 40:2-3 because that’s the story of what God through faith in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection has done for me.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
My second is 1 John 3:2.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Here’s the story I submitted for the One Year Life Verse Devotional, which will be published next year. Check back to see if I’ll have my 15 minutes of fame.
During my last two years of high school, I attended church with one of my high school teachers, Mr. G., and his family. Mr. G. would listen to my teenage troubles, and say “Don’t worry. You’ll get there.” After graduation, I joined the Navy and lost contact with Mr. G. for many years. During that time, I became an atheist and spent the next 18 years totally apart from God. But no matter how bad things seemed, I would always hear Mr. G. saying, “Don’t worry. You’ll get there.” Sometimes that was the only hope I had.
Finally, in 1997, just when things couldn’t have been better, God stepped back into my life, and in January 1999, I placed my faith in Jesus Christ. Sometime later I began to understand how unlike Christ I was. It was then that I found 1 John 3:2 and realized that, even though I wasn’t as much like Jesus right now as I wanted to be, there is coming a day when I will be. Then I remembered how Mr. G. would always say, “Don’t worry. You’ll get there.” I didn’t know where “there” was then, but now I don’t worry about how slow my progress seems or how often I fail. God has promised that with one look I’ll finally be there.