February 23, 2024

Craig Venter creates synthetic microorganism

Hi there,

May I could share a personal reflection
with you? This is a job in which one reads about an astonishing number of
fruitcakes. I don’t mean people with strongly held convictions or vaunting
ambitions whom I take issue with. No, I’m thinking of Real McCoy fruitcakes.

The big story in bioethics this week is
clearly Craig Venter’s announcement that his team has created a synthetic
genome. No one greeted this with more enthusiasm than the Raelians, a bizarre
cult which believes that humans were created by aliens called the Elohim and
wants to clone humans as a path to immortality.

Their leader, Rael, a former French sports
journalist, says: “With Venter’s achievement, we’re witnessing the first
step toward the Elohimization of humanity that will bring the creation of the
first synthetic human being.”

So, if any of our readers have Craig
Venter’s ear, perhaps they could tell him that he has a future as a cult figure
in addition to his other accomplishments.


Michael Cook