Synthetic life is much in the news these days. In the last month there has been a Discover article on simulated evolution, a Popular Science article (Life Built to Order) on the synthetic life efforts of Steen Rasmussen and his colleagues in Los Alamos, and a cover story in New Scientist on artificial life. The articles are thoughtful and the work is credible. How surprised will you be if one of these teams pulls it off? What do you suppose the Vatican will have to say about it?
If, as some biologists speculate, life evolved on Earth within 50,000 years of cooling down, I don’t doubt we’ll be able to coax the same trick into happening within our lifetime.