Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Life 2.0?

So, the hype of Web 2.0 has spilled over into biology, and the synthetic biology (now using the even sexier acronym SynBio) crowd is positioning itself as Life 2.0, referring to non-engineered life as "Life 1.0." In a recent Newsweek article, Tom Knight of MIT's Artificial Intelligence lab goes so far as to say "The genetic code is 3.6 billion years old. It's time for a rewrite."

Unfortunately, the criticism of SynBio is represented as religious and moralistic in nature, making it a "man playing God" argument. Environmental reactions, via Greenpeace, are merely represented as a kind of secular, almost pagan, compliment to the Judeo-Christian resistance to biotechnology, and the SynBio proponents portrayed as merely crass materialists. This is why the notion of "bioethics," as it is practiced in the US at least, is absurd.

For some critical reflections on bioethics, see these texts (all links to PDF files):

Intellectual Capital and Voting Booth Bioethics: A Contemporary Historical Critique

Critical Bioethics

Bioethics: a Tentative Balance

Of course there are lots more texts to consider, but these are free and accessible online.

posted by ryan griffis  # 8:33 AM

Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   February 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007  

syndicate [atom]

preBlog archives

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?