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This page contains all of the posts and discussion on MemeStreams referencing the following web page: Shocking science | The Economist. You can find discussions on MemeStreams as you surf the web, even if you aren't a MemeStreams member, using the Threads Bookmarklet.

Shocking science | The Economist
by noteworthy at 10:07 am EST, Dec 26, 2008

From The World in 2009:

Someone once accused Craig Venter of playing God.

His reply was, “We’re not playing.”

That "someone" was ETC Group, about which Decius commented recently.

The apparently alarming comments about DNA synthesis should come as no surprise to anyone who read Darwin’s Surprise a year ago.

Also, Freeman Dyson has been asking these questions for years now:

First, can it be stopped? Second, ought it to be stopped? Third, if stopping it is either impossible or undesirable, what are the appropriate limits that our society must impose on it? Fourth, how should the limits be decided? Fifth, how should the limits be enforced, nationally and internationally?


The question to ask is not, Are we safer? The question to ask is, Are we better off?

Fear not the explosion:

There will be do-it-yourself kits for gardeners, who will use gene transfer to breed new varieties of roses and orchids. Also, biotech games for children, played with real eggs and seeds rather than with images on a screen. Genetic engineering, once it gets into the hands of the general public, will give us an explosion of biodiversity. Designing genomes will be a new art form, as creative as painting or sculpture.

The revolution will not be rational:

Environmentalism has replaced socialism as the leading secular religion.

See also, from the archive:

Scientists want to adopt a set of declarations to improve the security of research that uses DNA synthesis. A proponent discusses the whys and wherefores of this effort.

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