Dateline May 21, 2010.

Scientists Create First 'Synthetic' Cells - Researchers Imbue Cell With Engineered DNA.
- by MICHAEL SMITH MedPage Today Staff Writer.

"In a development that seems likely to stir a firestorm of controversy, researchers said Thursday that they have used genes made in the lab to create a synthetic species of bacteria. . . . The new species, Venter said, started with researchers digitizing the genetic code for the new species on computers, then assembling the nucleotides using "four bottles of chemicals" into sections of DNA. The DNA sections were assembled in yeast cells to form a synthetic chromosome, which was then transferred to a related species of bacteria, M. capricolum. . . . bioethicist Art Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in the commentary that the result is "one of the most important scientific achievements in the history of mankind."

He argued that creating the synthetic genome finally rings the death knell for the notion of vitalism, the idea that there is a life force that distinguishes living matter from the inorganic.

Robert Field, professor of Law and Health Management and Policy at Drexel University, said the "ability to create new life forms may be emerging from the world of science fiction."

After reading Michael Smith's article, religious stalwarts could rationalize that God (or the life force) created the scientists who then created life, but that is quite a stretch and a pretty weak attempt at rationalization. The fact is, test tubes, computers, and man's ability to think and learn has created life, and that is a giant step forward in the advancement of man's innate intelligence opposed to the blind belief that life is in God‘s hands and is somehow sacrosanct.

Life is just life, nothing out of the ordinary and simply based on cause and effect. If you look closely at animals, their muscular structure and their organs, there is no difference really from us. Nothing sacred there, just the results of karma, biological cause and effect. The sacredness, if there is any, is the fact that life can be used to dig into nature and find out all about it, to actually transcend the physical mind into areas unfamiliar to the vast majority of people.

Buddhism always has respected and regarded science as the leading edge of human intelligence because science proves thing out as a modality and doesn't rely on beliefs or opinions.

Nothing that science could ever prove would disagree with Buddhism, because Buddhism is an open inquiry into what is happening right now, not what happened in the past. Buddhists understand that life is always transient and in flux, that life incurs a certain amount of discontent, and that there is no self or life force or entity standing behind what is obvious.

When Buddhists meditate, resulting in insight and wisdom that transcends the physical, that meditation deals with the moment as well and in no way interferes with science. As a matter of fact, in the field of theoretical physics, science and Buddhism are coming very close in their conclusions.

Author's Bio: 

E. Raymond Rock (anagarika addie) is a meditation teacher at: and author of “A Year to Enlightenment:

His 30 years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk.

He lived at Wat Pah Nanachat under Ajahn Chah, at Wat Pah Baan Taad under Ajahn Maha Boowa, and at Wat Pah Daan Wi Weg under Ajahn Tui. He had been a postulant at Shasta Abbey, a Zen Buddhist monastery in northern California under Roshi Kennett; and a Theravada Buddhist anagarika at both Amaravati Monastery in the UK and Bodhinyanarama Monastery in New Zealand, both under Ajahn Sumedho. The author has meditated with the Korean Master Sueng Sahn Sunim; with Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society in West Virginia; and with the Tibetan Master Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder, Colorado. He has also practiced at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and the Zen Center in San Francisco.