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

Schummer, J.

Abstract:
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.


Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Philosophie (PHIL)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Jahr 2016
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1433-5158, 1617-4240
URN: urn:nbn:de:swb:90-656949
KITopen ID: 1000065694
Erschienen in Hyle
Band 22
Heft 1
Seiten 149-172
Lizenz CC BY 3.0 DE: Creative Commons Namensnennung 3.0 Deutschland
Schlagworte ethics of chemistry, synthetic biology, artificial life, playing God, public image of chemistry.
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