Craig Venter Isn't God

by jeeg 28. May 2010 21:10


I'm sorry, what?

It's a nice technical achievement. It involved the (remarkable) successful debugging of a fatal error halfway through. It didn't hurt that he had $40m on his side.

But he (I should say, "they") basically put a synthetic copy of a natural genome into a natural placeholder. No new genome was designed, only a few watermarks inserted into places that probably don't do too much anyway.

This is like showing you have the ability to upload and run a remarkably complex program to a remarkably complex computer. No mean feat, but both the program and the computer were taken as given -- he didn't write the program, he didn't build the computer, and he only managed to correct one particular egregious wire-transmission error that was induced on the upload.

This is still a long way from "god"-like status.

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