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'Are you playing god?': Synthetic biology and the chemical ambition to create artificial life

Schummer, J. 1
1 Fakultät für Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften – Institut für Philosophie (PHIL), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Throughout history chemists have faced the accusation of ‘playing God’ or similar devilish associations, overshadowing all moral judgments of chemistry. The paper provides an ethical analysis of the accusation with focus on Craig Venter’s 2010 announcement of having produced the ‘first selfreplicating cell’. Against the deeper historical background of the ambitious projects that came to be known as ‘synthetic biology’, I describe Venter’s actual research and its international media reception. Then I analyze both the ethical and theological implications of creating living beings in the laboratory. In conclusion I argue that the Venter case, like many others cases from chemistry before, is a case of unfortunate science-public interaction that mislead both ethics and science.

Volltext §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000065694
Zitationen: 2
Web of Science
Zitationen: 5
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Fakultät für Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften – Institut für Philosophie (PHIL)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2016
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1433-5158, 1617-4240
KITopen-ID: 1000065694
Erschienen in Hyle
Verlag Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Band 22
Heft 1
Seiten 149-172
Schlagwörter ethics of chemistry, synthetic biology, artificial life, playing God, public image of chemistry.
Nachgewiesen in Web of Science
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