‘Stop trying to play God!’

There’s a lot of empty rhetoric floating around in light of the immense achievement of Craig Venter. Most of it is coming from anti-science conservatives, as one might expect. The Catholic Church is no exception.

Another official with the Italian bishops’ conference, Bishop Domenico Mogavero, expressed concern that scientists might be tempted to play God.

“Pretending to be God and parroting his power of creation is an enormous risk that can plunge men into a barbarity,” Mogavero told newspaper La Stampa in an interview. Scientists “should never forget that there is only one creator: God.”

“In the wrong hands, today’s development can lead tomorrow to a devastating leap in the dark,” said Mogavero, who heads the conference’s legal affairs department.

What makes this interesting is that the Church keeps urging caution for where this will all lead. But if they think Venter is playing God, then we already have a good answer: it will lead to terribly designed organisms which have a lot of junk, non-sense organ routes and parts, and which are bound to the mistakes found in their ancestors – unless of course we keep failing and cause 99% of everything we create to go extinct.

For the sake of language

He or she must ask himself or herself whether his or her sense of style could ever allow himself or herself to write like this.

~Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

Thought of the day

Texas is the last place that ought to play a leadership role in education.