Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [Death To Religion] Re: Abiogenesis (was: Creation so-called 'Scientists')Godwin is wrong.

Expand Messages
  • praesto12
    Have Scientists Created a Synthetic Cell? by Brian Thomas, M.S. * Scientists claim they have successfully created synthetic life for the first time. In a
    Message 1 of 394 , Jun 3, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      Have Scientists Created a Synthetic Cell?
      by Brian Thomas, M.S. *
      Scientists claim they have successfully created "synthetic life" for the first time. In a 15-year project, a team led by genomics pioneer Craig Venter synthesized DNA from inanimate chemicals. Headlines through several news agencies announced they had created a living cell, but what exactly did these researchers accomplish?
      In their study published in Science, the researchers of the J. Craig Venter Institute used machines to synthesize DNA, which they then inserted into already living cells. However, the particular DNA sequence they manufactured was an exact copy--except for precisely-placed "watermark" alterations--of pre-existing DNA from a living strain of bacteria that had been selected for its ability to be cloned and reinserted into a bacterium.
      The researchers went through plenty of bacterial strains to find one with DNA that could undergo the transfer and cloning processes. After that, it was a matter of artificially synthesizing DNA to exactly match the strain that they knew would work. Even after this, it didn't initially succeed. An error had crept into their synthesized DNA, and "success was thwarted for many weeks by a single base pair deletion in the essential gene dnaA."1
      This illustrates the high level of specification that had been built into these bacterial genomes in the first place.2 In order for their endeavor to succeed, the researchers had to conform their DNA sequence, in all the critical places, to that of the bacteria's. In their words, "this project was critically dependent on the accuracy of these [original bacterial] sequences."1
      DNA is a very long two-stranded molecule composed of four repeating chemicals, like beads on a string, called bases. The base on one strand pairs with a particular base on the opposite strand, forming a base pair. Many genomes have millions or billions of base pairs, but the genome of the tiny bacteria that these researchers copied was only 582,970 DNA base pairs long.
      They sequenced every base, transferring the data to a computer. They then synthesized new DNA to precisely match the sequence. Due to limitations of the DNA synthesizer, they had to start by manufacturing over 1,000 individual lengths, each with approximately 1,080 base pairs. This included extra DNA required for splicing the lengths together. The synthesized genome was then transferred to yeast, which can accurately copy long sequences of DNA and have enzymes that maintain DNA integrity. Finally, the researchers transferred the laboratory-synthesized, yeast-cloned DNA into a living bacterium that had its own DNA removed. The resulting cells grew and multiplied successfully in the lab.
      So, after millions of dollars and untold man-hours, pre-existing information was copied from cells into computers, and then placed back into living cells by purposefully manipulating both man-made and cellular machine systems. The resulting cell was therefore not wholly synthetic--only its DNA. But other than four added watermark sequences that served to verify the results, even that DNA was an exact copy of an already functioning bacterial genome.
      Despite the headlines, the scientists did not create a bacterial cell from scratch. Instead, they "refer to such a cell controlled by a genome assembled from chemically synthesized pieces of DNA as a 'synthetic cell', even though the cytoplasm of the recipient cell is not synthetic."1 But the cytoplasm has the machines required for all necessary cellular tasks like carrying sugars, copying DNA, taking out trash, converting energy, regulating production speeds, manufacturing proteins, communicating with the environment, and so on. None of that was artificially synthesized.
      In what may be an attempt to add gravitas to this research, Venter told the Financial Times, "We have passed through a critical psychological barrier."3 Surely, this is a reference to ideas about the creation of life being the sole domain of God. But there are reasons why it would be an overstatement to say that this synthesized DNA represents some kind of "divine" accomplishment.
      First, there is no biblical mandate that precludes mankind from attempting to build bacteria. Second, since bacteria do not breathe, they do not possess the "breath of life" that the Creator built into certain animals. So, like plants, bacteria do not have a soul or "life principle" and can be considered just very highly organized matter.4
      Thus, even if scientists can eventually create an entire self-replicating cell--including every working part--from scratch, they still will not have "passed through a critical psychological barrier," because they will only have succeeded in adding fantastic amounts of organization to previously existing matter. Such an organism would not have "life" in the same sense that humans do. Souls are not matter, yet they mysteriously reside in certain creatures.
      Overall, this research could serve at least two good purposes. The biotechniques that these scientists pioneered could improve medical technology. Also, by encountering the specificity with which these bacterial cells are constructed, investigators can get a closer appreciation for the engineering genius of their real Architect. In light of what the Lord Jesus accomplished in creating whole, reproducing cells without a reference template, what little these researchers achieved nevertheless "was complicated and required many quality control steps."1 How much more control was therefore required to have invented the whole cell in the first place, and how much more plain can the evidence for a Creator be?5
      If anything, this research verifies that His handiwork is wondrous. If a team of brilliant scientists only succeeded in copying information from a germ to a computer and back to a germ, then the Originator of that information must be far more brilliant.
      References
      1. Gibson, D. G. et al. Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. Science. Published online May 20, 2010.
      2. See also: Thomas, B. Bacteria Study Shoots Down 'Simple Cell' Assumptions.ICR News. Posted on icr.org January 4, 2010, accessed May 25, 2010.
      3. Cookson, C. Scientists create a living organism. Financial Times. Posted on ft.com May 20, 2010, accessed May 20, 2010.
      4. Criswell, D. C. 2009. Origin of Life. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 13-15. See also Morris, J. 1991. Are Plants Alive? Acts & Facts. 20: (9).
      5. Guliuzza, R. J. Natural Selection Is Not "Nature's Design Process." Acts & Facts. 39 (4): 10-12.
      * Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.
       Richard




      ________________________________
      From: Richard Godwin <meta@...>
      To: deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sun, May 30, 2010 10:56:33 PM
      Subject: Re: [Death To Religion] Re: Abiogenesis (was: Creation so-called 'Scientists')

       
      I meant to give the source articles describing Venter's discovery:

      A step to artificial life: Manmade DNA powers cell

      By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard, Ap Medical Writer
      Thu May 20, 7:54 pm ET

      WASHINGTON –

      Scientists announced a bold step Thursday in the enduring quest to create
      artificial life. They've produced a living cell powered by manmade DNA. The
      inventors call it the world's first synthetic cell, although this initial
      step is more a re-creation of existing life — changing one simple type of
      bacterium into another — than a built-from-scratch kind.

      Scientists report first cell made with artificial genes

      May 20, 2010

      Courtesy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and
      World Science staff

      Scientists say they have developed the first cell controlled by an
      artificial genome.

      Although it’s a near-copy of a natural genome, the researchers say their
      method can be used to better understand the basic machinery driving life,
      and to engineer bacteria for tasks such as fuel production or environmental
      cleanup.

      ..The research group, at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Md.,
      was already credited with chemically producing a bacterial genome, and with
      transplanting the genome of one bacterium to another. In the latest work,
      reported in the May 21 issue of the research journal Science, the team
      combined both methods. The result is what they call a “synthetic cell,”
      though only its genome is artificial, or synthetic.

      “This is the first synthetic cell... we call it synthetic because the cell
      is totally derived from a synthetic chromosome, made with four bottles of
      chemicals on a chemical synthesizer, starting with information in a
      computer,” said J. Craig Venter, president of the institute and leader of
      the research.







      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Richard Godwin
      The inventors call it the world s first synthetic cell, although this initial step is more a re-creation of existing life — changing one simple type of
      Message 394 of 394 , Jun 4, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        The inventors call it the world's first synthetic cell, although this
        initial step is more a re-creation of existing life — changing one simple
        type of bacterium into another — than a built-from-scratch kind. The result
        is what they call a “synthetic cell,” though only its genome is artificial,
        or synthetic. We have improved on nature to create versions of genes and
        proteins that do not exist in the wild.

        And, recently, we have begun to build genomes in the laboratory. The first
        to be made, eight years ago, was poliovirus. Then it became possible to make
        synthetic copies of existing bacterial genomes. Now, with the results
        published last week, we can begin to manufacture genomes for bacteria that
        do not exist in nature.
        The difficulties, however, remain great. Last week’s announcement, while an
        enormous and complex technical achievement, was a baby step toward designer
        life, not a giant leap. The resulting bacterium is little different from a
        bacterium that already exists. The principle difference is that its DNA
        carries some “watermarks” — special sequences — that identify it as having
        been made, not evolved.

        Mr. Thomas (not even a Ph.D.?) misses the point. This is not creating life
        "for the first time." The results give us the huge advantage if creation of
        NEW life from existing life.





        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "praesto12" <Praesto12@...>
        To: <deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2010 8:08 PM
        Subject: Re: [Death To Religion] Re: Abiogenesis (was: Creation so-called
        'Scientists')Godwin is wrong.


        Have Scientists Created a Synthetic Cell?
        by Brian Thomas, M.S. *
        Scientists claim they have successfully created "synthetic life" for the
        first time. In a 15-year project, a team led by genomics pioneer Craig
        Venter synthesized DNA from inanimate chemicals. Headlines through several
        news agencies announced they had created a living cell, but what exactly did
        these researchers accomplish?
        In their study published in Science, the researchers of the J. Craig Venter
        Institute used machines to synthesize DNA, which they then inserted into
        already living cells. However, the particular DNA sequence they manufactured
        was an exact copy--except for precisely-placed "watermark" alterations--of
        pre-existing DNA from a living strain of bacteria that had been selected for
        its ability to be cloned and reinserted into a bacterium.
        The researchers went through plenty of bacterial strains to find one with
        DNA that could undergo the transfer and cloning processes. After that, it
        was a matter of artificially synthesizing DNA to exactly match the strain
        that they knew would work. Even after this, it didn't initially succeed. An
        error had crept into their synthesized DNA, and "success was thwarted for
        many weeks by a single base pair deletion in the essential gene dnaA."1
        This illustrates the high level of specification that had been built into
        these bacterial genomes in the first place.2 In order for their endeavor to
        succeed, the researchers had to conform their DNA sequence, in all the
        critical places, to that of the bacteria's. In their words, "this project
        was critically dependent on the accuracy of these [original bacterial]
        sequences."1
        DNA is a very long two-stranded molecule composed of four repeating
        chemicals, like beads on a string, called bases. The base on one strand
        pairs with a particular base on the opposite strand, forming a base pair.
        Many genomes have millions or billions of base pairs, but the genome of the
        tiny bacteria that these researchers copied was only 582,970 DNA base pairs
        long.
        They sequenced every base, transferring the data to a computer. They then
        synthesized new DNA to precisely match the sequence. Due to limitations of
        the DNA synthesizer, they had to start by manufacturing over 1,000
        individual lengths, each with approximately 1,080 base pairs. This included
        extra DNA required for splicing the lengths together. The synthesized genome
        was then transferred to yeast, which can accurately copy long sequences of
        DNA and have enzymes that maintain DNA integrity. Finally, the researchers
        transferred the laboratory-synthesized, yeast-cloned DNA into a living
        bacterium that had its own DNA removed. The resulting cells grew and
        multiplied successfully in the lab.
        So, after millions of dollars and untold man-hours, pre-existing information
        was copied from cells into computers, and then placed back into living cells
        by purposefully manipulating both man-made and cellular machine systems. The
        resulting cell was therefore not wholly synthetic--only its DNA. But other
        than four added watermark sequences that served to verify the results, even
        that DNA was an exact copy of an already functioning bacterial genome.
        Despite the headlines, the scientists did not create a bacterial cell from
        scratch. Instead, they "refer to such a cell controlled by a genome
        assembled from chemically synthesized pieces of DNA as a 'synthetic cell',
        even though the cytoplasm of the recipient cell is not synthetic."1 But the
        cytoplasm has the machines required for all necessary cellular tasks like
        carrying sugars, copying DNA, taking out trash, converting energy,
        regulating production speeds, manufacturing proteins, communicating with the
        environment, and so on. None of that was artificially synthesized.
        In what may be an attempt to add gravitas to this research, Venter told the
        Financial Times, "We have passed through a critical psychological barrier."3
        Surely, this is a reference to ideas about the creation of life being the
        sole domain of God. But there are reasons why it would be an overstatement
        to say that this synthesized DNA represents some kind of "divine"
        accomplishment.
        First, there is no biblical mandate that precludes mankind from attempting
        to build bacteria. Second, since bacteria do not breathe, they do not
        possess the "breath of life" that the Creator built into certain animals.
        So, like plants, bacteria do not have a soul or "life principle" and can be
        considered just very highly organized matter.4
        Thus, even if scientists can eventually create an entire self-replicating
        cell--including every working part--from scratch, they still will not have
        "passed through a critical psychological barrier," because they will only
        have succeeded in adding fantastic amounts of organization to previously
        existing matter. Such an organism would not have "life" in the same sense
        that humans do. Souls are not matter, yet they mysteriously reside in
        certain creatures.
        Overall, this research could serve at least two good purposes. The
        biotechniques that these scientists pioneered could improve medical
        technology. Also, by encountering the specificity with which these bacterial
        cells are constructed, investigators can get a closer appreciation for the
        engineering genius of their real Architect. In light of what the Lord Jesus
        accomplished in creating whole, reproducing cells without a reference
        template, what little these researchers achieved nevertheless "was
        complicated and required many quality control steps."1 How much more control
        was therefore required to have invented the whole cell in the first place,
        and how much more plain can the evidence for a Creator be?5
        If anything, this research verifies that His handiwork is wondrous. If a
        team of brilliant scientists only succeeded in copying information from a
        germ to a computer and back to a germ, then the Originator of that
        information must be far more brilliant.
        References
        1. Gibson, D. G. et al. Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a
        Chemically Synthesized Genome. Science. Published online May 20, 2010.
        2. See also: Thomas, B. Bacteria Study Shoots Down 'Simple Cell'
        Assumptions.ICR News. Posted on icr.org January 4, 2010, accessed May 25,
        2010.
        3. Cookson, C. Scientists create a living organism. Financial Times. Posted
        on ft.com May 20, 2010, accessed May 20, 2010.
        4. Criswell, D. C. 2009. Origin of Life. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation
        Research, 13-15. See also Morris, J. 1991. Are Plants Alive? Acts & Facts.
        20: (9).
        5. Guliuzza, R. J. Natural Selection Is Not "Nature's Design Process." Acts
        & Facts. 39 (4): 10-12.
        * Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.
        Richard




        ________________________________
        From: Richard Godwin <meta@...>
        To: deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sun, May 30, 2010 10:56:33 PM
        Subject: Re: [Death To Religion] Re: Abiogenesis (was: Creation so-called
        'Scientists')


        I meant to give the source articles describing Venter's discovery:

        A step to artificial life: Manmade DNA powers cell

        By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard, Ap Medical Writer
        Thu May 20, 7:54 pm ET

        WASHINGTON –

        Scientists announced a bold step Thursday in the enduring quest to create
        artificial life. They've produced a living cell powered by manmade DNA. The
        inventors call it the world's first synthetic cell, although this initial
        step is more a re-creation of existing life — changing one simple type of
        bacterium into another — than a built-from-scratch kind.

        Scientists report first cell made with artificial genes

        May 20, 2010

        Courtesy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and
        World Science staff

        Scientists say they have developed the first cell controlled by an
        artificial genome.

        Although it’s a near-copy of a natural genome, the researchers say their
        method can be used to better understand the basic machinery driving life,
        and to engineer bacteria for tasks such as fuel production or environmental
        cleanup.

        ..The research group, at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Md.,
        was already credited with chemically producing a bacterial genome, and with
        transplanting the genome of one bacterium to another. In the latest work,
        reported in the May 21 issue of the research journal Science, the team
        combined both methods. The result is what they call a “synthetic cell,”
        though only its genome is artificial, or synthetic.

        “This is the first synthetic cell... we call it synthetic because the cell
        is totally derived from a synthetic chromosome, made with four bottles of
        chemicals on a chemical synthesizer, starting with information in a
        computer,” said J. Craig Venter, president of the institute and leader of
        the research.







        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



        ------------------------------------

        Yahoo! Groups Links



        Richard
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.