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Ethics for synthetic life?

Started by wpaolini, 08/13/2010 06:21AM
Posted 08/13/2010 06:21AM | Edited 08/13/2010 06:52AM Opening Post
What should be the ethical guidelines for synthetic life?

The following link, http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/breakthroughs/synthetic-cell-breakthrough, relates the reporting of the first synthetically created DNA which was implanted into a cell. They even went so far as to put watermarks in the gene as well as encoded messages for fun (giving proof of the creator).

Of course, it's the good old oil companies who funded this as they want to create proprietary bacteria to eat CO2 and make fuel as a by product (there goes the environment if it spirals out of control causing global cooling?).

Anyway, we just made a leap forward in creating, synthesizing, one celled life which can replicate and inevitably mutate. What do you think should be the ethics guidelines for activities like this? Lower order life forms of course would be different than higher order ones. Going to be interesting is we ever figure out how to jump start consciuosness in a synthetic.
Posted 08/13/2010 07:30AM #1
William Paolini said:

What should be the ethical guidelines for synthetic life?

The following link, http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/breakthroughs/synthetic-cell-breakthrough, relates the reporting of the first synthetically created DNA which was implanted into a cell. They even went so far as to put watermarks in the gene as well as encoded messages for fun (giving proof of the creator).

Of course, it's the good old oil companies who funded this as they want to create proprietary bacteria to eat CO2 and make fuel as a by product (there goes the environment if it spirals out of control causing global cooling?).

Anyway, we just made a leap forward in creating, synthesizing, one celled life which can replicate and inevitably mutate. What do you think should be the ethics guidelines for activities like this? Lower order life forms of course would be different than higher order ones. Going to be interesting is we ever figure out how to jump start consciuosness in a synthetic.

It is an interesting topic in that it demonstraits that life does not come from non-life. Information and design don't come from non-information and non-intelligence. As far as ethics goes, man can't be trusted with this kind of power. I am sure a lot of good could come from something like this, but are we prepared to pay the cost? cwy

As man attains more and more knowledge and the technology to play in the realm that used to be only reserved for the Creator, I think we (creation) step close to the end of the age, IMHO. Remember the tower of Babel and what God said?

Doug Matulis
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"I need something to put here, can you help? wink "
Posted 08/13/2010 09:13AM #2
William Paolini said:

What should be the ethical guidelines for synthetic life?

The following link, http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/breakthroughs/synthetic-cell-breakthrough, relates the reporting of the first synthetically created DNA which was implanted into a cell. They even went so far as to put watermarks in the gene as well as encoded messages for fun (giving proof of the creator).

Of course, it's the good old oil companies who funded this as they want to create proprietary bacteria to eat CO2 and make fuel as a by product (there goes the environment if it spirals out of control causing global cooling?).

Anyway, we just made a leap forward in creating, synthesizing, one celled life which can replicate and inevitably mutate. What do you think should be the ethics guidelines for activities like this? Lower order life forms of course would be different than higher order ones. Going to be interesting is we ever figure out how to jump start consciuosness in a synthetic.

I would think that the ethics for creation of simple life would be concerning its effect on humans. Since single cells lack consciousness, artificial cells could be considered as technology... exceedingly complex tiny machines. Of course, the ballgame changes when and if we can create sentient life. Some might consider computers to be sentient already! When they become powerful enough to be self-aware, do we need to start considering the ethics of how we treat our computers?

http://www.johnnagnew.com
http://herps2art.wordpress.com
Posted 08/13/2010 09:32PM #3
I don't think synthetic life like this should ever be allowed. I live in a state that is covered with kudzu and populated with pythons, monkeys, monitor lizards, piranha and all manner of intrusive and species. We don't need to let engineered bacteria loose.

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I have several telescopes, but none are semi-APO, APO, or in anyway valuable.
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