Re: Life in the Lab -- Review Paper

Moorad Alexanian (
Tue, 18 May 1999 13:29:56 -0400

I have one advice and that is to make the definition of what is alive clear
and complete. I think the notion of something being alive is not as trivial
as it may sound. One must also note that articles written on the synthesis
of life that do not mention the work of Fox may be viewed as critical to the
claims make by Fox and Co.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Berger <>
To: <>
Cc: 'ASA List' <>
Date: Tuesday, May 18, 1999 11:56 AM
Subject: RE: Life in the Lab -- Review Paper

>I would say that Scientific American is a good compromise. Publication in a
>biological review journal would limit the audience (as would publication
>say, Chemical Reviews), while Discover might tend to be more easily
>dismissed because you would not be able to bring as much evidence to bear.
>Ideally, you might publish a fully-referenced review in a biological review
>journal and do a rewrite for SciAm (or vice versa).
>> Working Title: Laboratory Synthesis of Life: Implications
>> for a Biological
>> Definition of Life
>> Introductory Remarks
>> Part One: Metaphysical vs. biological definitions of life, and the
>> implications of synthesis of life in the lab
>Have to see more on this before commenting. I don't think even Moorad
>believes in vitalism, and I wouldn't say that "irreducibly complex" is
>really a metaphysical concept; Dembski claims it's falsifiable. I can't say
>I think there are any moral or religious implications worth mentioning.
>There might be misinterpretation though (like Einstein and "the theory of
>relativism"), and that should be carefully anticipated and excised.
>> Part Two: Overview of proteinoid microsphere protocell research
>> Part Three: Protocells in light of cell theory
>> Concluding Remarks: Protocells meet all the requirements of
>> cell theory so
>> they should be considered alive in the biological sense
>Nothing particularly controversial here.
>Looking forward to it.
>Daniel J. Berger |PH 419-358-3379
>Assoc Prof of Chemistry|FX 419-358-3323
>Bluffton College |
>Bluffton OH 45817-1196|