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Damn...Deus ex Scientia/'Artificial life' Breakthrough Announced by Scientists
View Poll Results: Do you support the creation of artifical lifeforms?
Yes 23 67.65%
I'd prefer science not to dabble in genetic rengineering 2 5.88%
Genetic Selection Techniques are fine, but not genetic creation 3 8.82%
We shouldn't genetically engineer lifeforms at all, only breed them 2 5.88%
I don't really care 4 11.76%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 22 May 2010, 04:11   #31 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Damn...Deus ex Scientia/'Artificial life' Breakthrough Announced by Scientists

Hmmm, is this Algae I hear?

(Sigh... No one ever independently comes up with my idea.)

I will have to put up some stuff from my paper when I'm done with it....
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Old 24 May 2010, 06:23   #32 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Damn...Deus ex Scientia/'Artificial life' Breakthrough Announced by Scientists

Please note: Some of this may have been said before... I may or may not have read page 2...

Hmmm... its a tough one for sure. Really it stirs up a whole big hornets nest of trouble when you look on a wider scale.

One concern would be the already existing organisms in our environment. We've seen the negative influence people have just from simple things like the insects that are onboard ships going across a large body of water, or domestic animals that get loose. The whole ecosystem takes a major hit... and thats from stuff that already exists in nature... now imagine the stuff that doesn't exist. I can easily see generating organisms to go terribly wrong on the large scale (even things as small as bacteria can really hurt an ecosystem).
Now, I can already see a counter argument forming for this, so I will address it now. We made the thing, we can control its impact. People are very confident in science, but should they be? Not so much... My example would be the rather timely off-shore oil rig situation. Until now, most people didn't think much about oil rigs leaking, it was jsut figured science could handle it (science agreed saying something along the lines of "drilling for oil is safer than a bathroom... the most accidents happen in the bathroom."). Then suddenly something happened, and the next thing you know... oil is everywhere and no one has a real solution (they really are just throwing stuff at it... literally... and seeing what sticks). I can very well see a similar thing happening with synthetic organisms.

My second concern (which will be my last since its far too late for this sort of thing), is the impact it will have on society. Early it was said that it's fine so long as its not on people. But I am certain eventually it would get to be done with people. Here is my reasoning... So, you've got a scientist working in a lab, and he finds the genetic code to make people run faster (run faster... I know... just role with it). Now, there doesn't seem to be any harm in bettering ourselves as a species... we could probably do with running a bit faster. Now... we all know something like that wouldn't come cheap, but the rich would pay for themselves and their children to get a leg up (just look at why private schools are so successful... I don't think its for the spiffy uniforms). Now lets say the trend continues, and more and more 'improved' genes can be bought. What we would see is not only a divide in economic class, but divide in physical class, where society would actually be sepparated by a physical difference. Its a down right scary thought, and the world being what it is, I would not doubt its possibility.

Now a little bright side to lighten the tone of this doomsaying. This is a very difficult subject to look at on a morally right or wrong level, because the gains are massive. They may even outweigh the losses. Bacteria that cleans the air more efficiantly than any organism now. Super foods. Medical improvements. Etc.. There is so good that could come of it... but that negative stuff still hangs there like a big dark cloud.
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Old 24 May 2010, 14:49   #33 (permalink)
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Default Re: Damn...Deus ex Scientia/'Artificial life' Breakthrough Announced by Scientists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrelio
Now, I can already see a counter argument forming for this, so I will address it now. We made the thing, we can control its impact. People are very confident in science, but should they be? Not so much... My example would be the rather timely off-shore oil rig situation.
While it is still in the academic sector I am not too worried about it. But once it becomes commercialized I think this is a very real risk. Industry cuts corners. They are also loathe to invest in preventative measures before they have to. So in the case of the oil spill, the blow-out preventer was the last line of defense. Maybe they had considered what would happen if it failed, but they didn't spend the money to research, test, and position back-ups in case it did.

What concerns me is the point where this stops being about scientific curiosity or even medical applications and starts being about how this discovery can be converted into marketable products.
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Old 24 May 2010, 16:15   #34 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
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Default Re: Damn...Deus ex Scientia/'Artificial life' Breakthrough Announced by Scientists

Well that's it, for the majority of people in positions of power and control money is the be-all and end-all. And these are likely to be the people that get their hands on this technology when it becomes more widely available.

I don't distrust science, but I do distrust humanity, and therefore large advances in scientific knowledge that have potential for great harm alarm me.
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Old 25 May 2010, 03:20   #35 (permalink)
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Default Re: Damn...Deus ex Scientia/'Artificial life' Breakthrough Announced by Scientists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrelio
Now, I can already see a counter argument forming for this, so I will address it now. We made the thing, we can control its impact. People are very confident in science, but should they be? Not so much... My example would be the rather timely off-shore oil rig situation.
Err, no. In that case we have a situation caused by the refusal of a corporation to follow regulations (in the name of profit, I might add. Hooray, capitalism for its own sake!) leading to a disaster of unparalleled magnitude in its category.

It has nothing to do with science. Science can't help you if you deliberately ignore it whenever it becomes economically inconvenient.
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Old 28 Jun 2010, 14:00   #36 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Damn...Deus ex Scientia/'Artificial life' Breakthrough Announced by Scientists

Remember when humans started playing god nothing good of it happens. Look at the Nazis
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Old 28 Jun 2010, 14:02   #37 (permalink)
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Default Re: Damn...Deus ex Scientia/'Artificial life' Breakthrough Announced by Scientists

What is "playing God"? Is surgery playing God? What about antibiotics?
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Old 28 Jun 2010, 14:37   #38 (permalink)
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Default Re: Damn...Deus ex Scientia/'Artificial life' Breakthrough Announced by Scientists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khanaris
What is "playing God"?
Whatever his pastor tells him it is, presumably. Biblical basis or not.

Or, alternatively, he's just played too many video games and now associates biological research with zombie viruses.
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Old 29 Jun 2010, 20:49   #39 (permalink)
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Default Re: Damn...Deus ex Scientia/'Artificial life' Breakthrough Announced by Scientists

Quote:
Originally Posted by laxlover_bill369
Remember when humans started playing god nothing good of it happens. Look at the Nazis
I'm not sure if you're joking or not, but to be honest, that does not make you look exactly clever either way. If you've got anything other than "look at the nazis" to actually base fears of "playing god" on, please, add them, instead of looking like a troll.

If you were joking, this is not a place for jokes.
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