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Artificial Life Likely in 3 to 10 Years
Breitbart.com/Associated Press ^ | August 19, 2007 | SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer

Posted on 08/20/2007 9:23:32 AM PDT by Turret Gunner A20

WASHINGTON (AP) - Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch and they're getting closer. Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of "wet artificial life."

"It's going to be a big deal and everybody's going to know about it," said Mark Bedau, chief operating officer of ProtoLife of Venice, Italy, one of those in the race. "We're talking about a technology that could change our world in pretty fundamental ways—in fact, in ways that are impossible to predict."

(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: artificiallife; godcomplex; science
This I gotta see.

They might just as well quit, -- things like this just happen without intelligent somebody working on it. If you don't believe me, check out the Darwin worshipers.

1 posted on 08/20/2007 9:23:34 AM PDT by Turret Gunner A20
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To: Turret Gunner A20

The Democrats will be registering it to vote, I’m sure.


2 posted on 08/20/2007 9:26:34 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler ("A person's a person no matter how small." -Dr. Seuss)
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To: Turret Gunner A20

There is zero chance of success the way they are doing this. This opinion is based on scientific knowledge not some Gnostic heresy.


3 posted on 08/20/2007 9:26:36 AM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Too late!
The Dem’s long ago cornered the market on artificial life.


4 posted on 08/20/2007 9:27:22 AM PDT by G Larry (Only strict constructionists on the Supreme Court!)
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To: Turret Gunner A20

Does anyone else wonder if this might be a bad idea?


5 posted on 08/20/2007 9:27:24 AM PDT by JamesP81 (Keep your friends close; keep your enemies at optimal engagement range)
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To: Turret Gunner A20

I believe God has put certain “firewalls” on things and this may be one of them.


6 posted on 08/20/2007 9:28:24 AM PDT by stm (Fred Thompson in 08! Return our country to the era of Reagan Conservatism now.)
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To: Turret Gunner A20

Quick! Somebody give me an artificial immune system too!

I’m no Luddite, but this is seriously hazardous stuff.


7 posted on 08/20/2007 9:29:05 AM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast ([Thompson 2008!])
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To: Turret Gunner A20
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket It's already been done.
8 posted on 08/20/2007 9:30:12 AM PDT by rfp1234 (Nothing is better than eternal happiness. A ham sandwich is better than nothing. Therefore...)
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To: G Larry

Beat me to it!


9 posted on 08/20/2007 9:30:27 AM PDT by GourmetDan
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To: Turret Gunner A20
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
10 posted on 08/20/2007 9:30:38 AM PDT by rfp1234 (Nothing is better than eternal happiness. A ham sandwich is better than nothing. Therefore...)
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To: RightWhale

“There is zero chance of success the way they are doing this. This opinion is based on scientific knowledge not some Gnostic heresy.”

I’m not well informed in this arena, but I’d be totally shocked if this were possible. It wouldn’t alter my beliefs, but it would surprise the heck out of me.


11 posted on 08/20/2007 9:31:33 AM PDT by brownsfan (America has "jumped the shark")
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To: scan59

One more ping and I’m done today.


12 posted on 08/20/2007 9:31:35 AM PDT by scan58 (Diversity results in a collection of unconnected individuals.)
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To: Turret Gunner A20
Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch and they're getting closer.

If you've watched MTV for more than an hour any time during the last 15 years, you'd think these scientists already succeeded.

13 posted on 08/20/2007 9:31:46 AM PDT by Freedom_no_exceptions (No actual, intended, or imminent victim = no crime. No exceptions.)
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To: Turret Gunner A20; DaveLoneRanger; wagglebee; Coleus
"We're talking about a technology that could change our world in pretty fundamental ways—in fact, in ways that are impossible to predict."

This statement makes no sense, but he is covering all the bases; no matter what happens, he can say he was right.

If it's impossible to predict, how does he know it's going to change our lives in fundamental ways?

And what good is the "science" if it can't make any definitive or useful predictions? You might as well guess.

14 posted on 08/20/2007 9:31:48 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: JamesP81
this might be a bad idea

It's poorly conceived, will not achieve success in anything besides funding, and has been influenced by too many bad sci-fi movies.

15 posted on 08/20/2007 9:32:23 AM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: Turret Gunner A20
Does anyone know of private companies developing this technology? How about publicly traded companies?

I believe the next “big” technology breakthrough will involve the “programing” of bio-cells for computers and medicine. I want to invest in these companies before it’s too late. :o)

16 posted on 08/20/2007 9:32:43 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (No to nitwit jesters with a predisposition of self importance and unqualified political opinions!)
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To: JamesP81

Yes....they are playing a very dangerous game here, and for what?


17 posted on 08/20/2007 9:33:20 AM PDT by RC2
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To: G Larry

The Dims have constructed an artificial reality environment too.


18 posted on 08/20/2007 9:35:20 AM PDT by weegee (NO THIRD TERM. America does not need another unconstitutional Clinton co-presidency.)
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To: Turret Gunner A20

I wonder if this work is being done by the Blue-eyed people?


19 posted on 08/20/2007 9:36:33 AM PDT by marvlus
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To: rfp1234
From our State Fair during the last election...examine closely the mask they used to create Kerry.
20 posted on 08/20/2007 9:36:46 AM PDT by cj2a (When you're pathetic, but you don't know you're pathetic, that's really pathetic.)
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To: JamesP81

Naw. What could possibly go wrong by artificially creating something completely outside of the parameters of our own eco-system ?

Heck, imagine what the bio-weapons sections could do with that! While they’re at this, I want my own pet Targ...


21 posted on 08/20/2007 9:38:47 AM PDT by farlander (Try not to wear milk bone underwear - it's a dog eat dog financial world)
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To: marvlus

From scratch means from “0”. Humans just refuse to acknowledge their limitations.


22 posted on 08/20/2007 9:38:56 AM PDT by Sacajaweau ("The Cracker" will be renamed "The Crapper")
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To: Turret Gunner A20
Bedau said there are legitimate worries about creating life that could "run amok," but there are ways of addressing it, and it will be a very long time before that is a problem.

"When these things are created, they're going to be so weak, it'll be a huge achievement if you can keep them alive for an hour in the lab," he said. "But them getting out and taking over, never in our imagination could this happen."

Maybe it is just me, but these concluding sentences from the article have just the right combination of adolescent enthusiasm and intellectual arrogance to sound alarm bells.

23 posted on 08/20/2007 9:39:30 AM PDT by Captain Rhino ( Peace based on respected strength is truly peace; peace based on weakness is ignoble slavery)
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To: brownsfan

It’s possible. But, they way they are going about it won’t get them anywhere.


24 posted on 08/20/2007 9:39:57 AM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: Captain Rhino
"Bedau said there are legitimate worries about creating life that could "run amok," but there are ways of addressing it, and it will be a very long time before that is a problem. "When these things are created, they're going to be so weak, it'll be a huge achievement if you can keep them alive for an hour in the lab," he said. "But them getting out and taking over, never in our imagination could this happen."

Interesting. Wonder how they rationalize this: Hoof and Mouth Outbreak

25 posted on 08/20/2007 9:43:50 AM PDT by Tench_Coxe
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To: Sacajaweau

“From scratch means from “0”. Humans just refuse to acknowledge their limitations.”

You’re being too literal. I’d find it to be a feat to take the basic building blocks and make something that’s alive. I’m sure that even if they’re successful, it will be a single cell type organism.

As for humans refusing to accept their limitations, that would seem to be a good thing to me.


26 posted on 08/20/2007 9:44:28 AM PDT by brownsfan (America has "jumped the shark")
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To: Turret Gunner A20
"We aren't smart enough to design things, we just let evolution do the hard work and then we figure out what happened," Szostak said

Wow. The hubris. And this guy is some kind of genius Harvard scientist? Figuring out "what happened" after the fact does not instill confidence. Good thing this won't happen.
27 posted on 08/20/2007 9:50:44 AM PDT by socialismisinsidious ( The socialist income tax system turns US citizens into beggars or quitters!)
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To: Turret Gunner A20; Tenacious 1; RightWhale; brownsfan; RightOnTheLeftCoast

It amuses me greatly that knee-jerk opponents of belief in any type of intelligent design are engaging in . . . intelligent design. If they succeed, THEN will they believe in intelligent design? Or is belief in intelligent design a prerequisite for carrying it out? Deep questions to ponder . . .

I’m no Biblical creationist by a long shot, but mainstream science’s bull-headed opposition to the idea of any sort of intelligent design having possibly had any influence whatsoever on the development of life on earth, is every bit as irrational as the most clueless and bull-headed creationists. But at least the Biblical creationists admit they’re relying on faith to arrive at their beliefs.


28 posted on 08/20/2007 10:04:17 AM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: metmom
This statement makes no sense, but he is covering all the bases; no matter what happens, he can say he was right.

He means that the changes will be big (a prediction he's willing to make), but that all kinds of unpredictable scientific and sociological things could follow.

And what good is the "science" if it can't make any definitive or useful predictions? You might as well guess.

This guy has plenty of ideas about what could result, and he could make predictions about that. He doesn't know the scope of the changes, other than that they will be grand.

29 posted on 08/20/2007 10:11:03 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
Re: #28

Interesting question comes to mind: What do they consider intelligent?

Today we have computers with a pre-programmed “if-then” function. When we “invent” technology that learns from past “if-then” scenarios, it could be regarded as “intelligent.” Dogs and pets can be trained but are not considered intelligent by human standards.

What then are we trying to create when we create “intelligence” scientifically? Intelligence that develops into self preservation and begins to have morals, values, etc. gets dangerous. I believe this is where your post is going.

I would take it one further and suggest that technology that can learn and decide is also more able to make mistakes. A well trained dog will sometimes still bite its owner given certain circumstances.

Good thoughts....

30 posted on 08/20/2007 10:13:10 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (No to nitwit jesters with a predisposition of self importance and unqualified political opinions!)
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To: Turret Gunner A20

other spin on this:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1883712/posts
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1883668/posts
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1858047/posts


31 posted on 08/20/2007 10:21:57 AM PDT by xcamel (FDT/2008 -- talk about it >> irc://irc.freenode.net/fredthompson)
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To: Turret Gunner A20
Sound to me like they ain't really makin' no life.

They're using pre-built materials already available.

I'm holdin' out for when they are able to make the pre-built materials, but my suspicion is that will be too complex, and a certain Grand Designer may have implemented steps that will forever preclude us from doing that.

Aw, the hubris! Man is an arrogant little creature!

Sauron

32 posted on 08/20/2007 10:45:15 AM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: Tenacious 1

>>What then are we trying to create when we create “intelligence” scientifically?

Currently AI is working on noisy pattern recognition and natural language processing. The outcome is problem specific and amoral. We may eventually get to a point where we can talk to a computer and have it simulate feelings to facilitate communication, but abstract philosophical thinking and moral behavior is not along the current path of AI.

In fact, AI has gotten “dumber” recently, and backed away from serious problems that originated the field in favor of statistical text and image processing algorithms that end up being incomprehensible once trained.


33 posted on 08/20/2007 10:47:07 AM PDT by dan1123 (You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. --Jesus)
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To: Tenacious 1

I was speculating less about the future than about the past. My personal operating hypothesis is that intelligence evolved first as energy, which then began creating and tinkering with matter. That would explain why the nitty-gritty details of how matter-based life (eventually including intelligence) appear to have evolved on earth seem suspiciously neat and tidy and fortuitous. It’s not that they didn’t evolve, but that they were being tinkered with, or at least the starting contents of, and nearby influences on the giant petri dish of Planet Earth were thought through and planned — just like the petri dishes these scientists are working with in their attempts to creating life from scratch. This line of thinking leads to unsettling possibilities, like that we and our planet are some higher intelligence’s middle school science fair project that got an “Honorable Mention”.


34 posted on 08/20/2007 10:55:36 AM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: dan1123

We have enough problems with our computers doing things we don’t want them to do, without having them actually DESIGNED to make their own decisions with their own goals in mind.


35 posted on 08/20/2007 10:57:15 AM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: sauron

>> I’m holdin’ out for when they are able to make the pre-built materials...

I think the endeavor starts from false principles, but still could lead to a better understanding of biological systems, so I encourage the experiment. We still know very little about how life works and this project is attempting to do more than we really understand—hoping to learn the details along the way. It will be interesting to see if the assumptions are proven false, but I doubt such a result will be acknowledged in favor of putting some spin on the results to appear as if they have made some progress and are hopeful for the future.

What if there are specific structural requirements for life that have no natural chemical path? What if the minimal life form is discovered to be nearly as complex as modern bacteria? What if the combinations of possible workable DNA sequences is severely limited to the point that only species known to have existed are capable of existing? I don’t think scientists are prepared for these scenarios.


36 posted on 08/20/2007 11:07:02 AM PDT by dan1123 (You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. --Jesus)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
opposition to the idea of any sort of intelligent design

God is so far beyond comprehension and intelligence that He doesn't need intent or design. This is Gnostic stuff and even pre-Christian.

37 posted on 08/20/2007 11:09:59 AM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: stm

No, God put no limits on anything. Sooner or later will create sentient beings.

For all we know some alien race created us.

John


38 posted on 08/20/2007 11:10:12 AM PDT by Diggity
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To: Turret Gunner A20

This is something that Popular Science should put on their futures exchange.

http://ppx.popsci.com/


39 posted on 08/20/2007 11:41:43 AM PDT by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.)
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To: GraniteStateConservative

He’s predicting unpredictable stuff will happen and that he thinks it will be big? Anyone can get that far; scientists ought to be able to do better than that. They should be able to get more specific than “It’s going to be big.”

IOW, he’s just guessing.


40 posted on 08/20/2007 12:04:37 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Turret Gunner A20

“trying to create life from scratch “

Isn’t there a joke where some scientist is telling God he can do this?
God asks how he’s going to do it.
The scientist say’s “First I’ll take some dirt...”, and God interrupts, “Not so fast! Make your own dirt.”


41 posted on 08/20/2007 12:06:07 PM PDT by G Larry (Only strict constructionists on the Supreme Court!)
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To: RC2

Gray goo?


42 posted on 08/20/2007 12:06:48 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...

.


43 posted on 08/20/2007 1:41:09 PM PDT by Coleus (Pro Deo et Patria)
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To: VoiceOfBruck

Well the good news is that it appears Jesus’ return is sooner than we may have thought...


44 posted on 08/20/2007 1:48:05 PM PDT by Zechariah_8_13 (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
You are of course correct.

That said, they (the bull-headed naturalists) are also fascinated by the admittedly fascinating challenge of coming up with a solution that explains life from exclusively natural causes. It's largely the intellectual challenge, and beyond that, to what is probably a vocal but powerful minority, a more sinister attempt to justify human evil by yanking out the rug of any ultimate meaning.

45 posted on 08/20/2007 8:48:37 PM PDT by Lexinom (http://www.gohunter08.com Don't let the press pick our candidates)
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To: Turret Gunner A20

Are we talking SkyNet?


46 posted on 08/20/2007 8:51:12 PM PDT by toddlintown (Six bullets and Lennon goes down. Yet not one hit Yoko. Discuss.)
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To: Zechariah_8_13

Personally I think these “scientists” are delusional.


47 posted on 08/21/2007 4:26:44 PM PDT by VoiceOfBruck (for a good time, call vobns.blogspot.com)
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To: VoiceOfBruck

agreed. Don’t think it will happen, but I’m sure they’ll find a way to do a ton of damage in trying...


48 posted on 08/21/2007 5:38:13 PM PDT by Zechariah_8_13 (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.)
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To: dan1123
Wonderfully stated!

SAURON

49 posted on 08/21/2007 10:36:46 PM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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