RE: It's the Bible or evolution

From: Denyse O'Leary <>
Date: Sat Oct 01 2005 - 11:28:35 EDT

Yes. I heard what you said, George.

I am saying that you CAN'T put a fence around the word "created" and make it
mean only what you want.

If unguided nature can "create" life (that is the prebiotic evolution
account, I believe), so can scientists create life in the lab.

In either case, one can claim that God had something to do with it - or that
he didn't. No doubt, both claims will be made with equal force. So?

The only result that will be really interesting will be if scientists end up
giving up on creating life in the lab because the idea turns out to have
conceptual problems, like squaring the circle. (I am not saying that I think
this will happen, but that if it did, it would be really interesting.)

But I won't respond further because when people campaign to restrict the use
of terminology, they either succeed or fail. The odds I would give this one
don't really matter.

Cheers, Denyse

- 0 -

If life is created in the lab, that is precisely the sort of stuff that will
be shaken up. That's the point I was trying to make. - cheers, Denyse

Denyse -

Did you read what I said at all? "If life is created in the lab" is exactly

the kind of ambiguous usage we should try to avoid. It isn't much of a
problem when we say that nuclear physicists have "created" atoms of element
109 (or whatever we're up to now) e.g. but that's only because that isn't
something that gives rise to debates about religious issues. Talk about
"creating life" does. Why not say "If life is made in the lab" - or even
"If scientists are able to make living things in the lab"? It requires a
little discipline but it's worth it.

- 0 -

Read brief excerpts from my book, By Design or by Chance?: The Growing
Controversy On the Origins of Life in the Universe (Augsburg Fortress, 2004)
Study Guide:
My blog: 
(go to other blogs from here)
Denyse O'Leary
Tel: 416 485-2392
Fax: 416 485-2392
Received on Sat Oct 1 11:29:28 2005

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