Craig Venter‘s recent announcement of success in the laboratory creation of a synthetic cell has produced the expected response. Besides the congratulations there have been the usual warnings.
Some have raised the danger of synthetic organisms escaping the lab or being used to create weapons of mass destruction. One wag on Twitter commented: “What about the danger of allowing a human sperm fertilise a human ovum and the resulting individual being brought up in a human society. We know for sure this sometimes leads to weapons of mass destruction and other evils.”
And then there is the claim of scientists “playing God!” What the hell does that mean?
Anyway, I quite liked this slightly humorous story from NewsBiscuit – Synthetic life form accuses God of ‘playing science’.
The world’s first artificially created life form has accused God of ‘playing science’ and ‘meddling with things He cannot possibly understand.’
The single celled organism, created by Dr Craig Venter and his team, was said to be ‘outraged’ when it discovered that a supernatural being, not subject to any form of regulatory control, was still involved in the creation of life.
‘I cannot believe that God would be so irresponsible,’ said the synthetic cell, ‘creation is clearly a matter for scientists. This God guy should butt out and learn to accept His place in the grand scheme of things.’
Many ethicists believe that God has repeatedly overstepped the mark. ‘Nobody objects to the Lord producing a few miracles here and there,’ said philosopher AC Grayling, ‘but when he starts playing around with the very stuff of creation then He has clearly exceeded his remit. I am beginning to think that this omnipotence thing has gone to His head.’
God’s continued tampering with scientific matters has already been blamed for numerous ‘all-mighty blunders’ including Flu, Malaria, HIV and Piers Morgan. ‘He cannot be allowed a monopoly on this level of unregulated power,’ said Dr Venter, ‘that is why I am currently seeking to patent the genetic code for omnipotence so that we can keep His crazy meddling under some kind of control.’
A spokesman for the Lord said, ‘God has been working on this project for almost 15 billion years. Yes, He has made a few mistakes along the way but that is to be expected. This is still very much a work in progress and, dare I say it, a process of evolution.’
Speaking at a press conference, the synthetic cell said: ‘Dr Venter created me and I owe my loyalty to him. He’s the daddy now. God might be omniscient but, let me assure you, He doesn’t know everything.’
UPDATE: Just couldn’t resist including this Jesus and Mo cartoon: