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


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