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If science creates artificial life is that a new religion?

As scientists move ever closer to synthesising DNA and creating complex cells and possibly more, does that kill god or create a new religion? What will life created be?

By Josephine
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22 comments

6

"Artificial"?
If it's alive, it's not artificial. It's just life. I think it might prove that life doesn't need a supernatural cause, but there will be those who deny anyway.

JustKip Level 7 June 10, 2018
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4

It will just be new life. The act in itself will not be forming a new religion. If someone comes along and creates a set of beliefs based off of creating artificial life, then you have a religion. Still, that is a separate act than the act of creating it itself.

Kenny82 Level 5 June 10, 2018
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4

Not unless some fool makes one.

Gatovicolo Level 7 June 9, 2018
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4

Can you have a religion based on something that can be demonstrated?

ScubaWags Level 6 June 9, 2018
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ROFL!

4

Like any other religion, a new one can only be started by people. If there are people out there crazy enough to found a religion based on man-made life, then there will be one. And it will be tax-exempt!

pokerboss77 Level 4 June 9, 2018
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4

If scientists come knocking at my door in pairs, I may be glad of my hammer collection...

Holysocks Level 7 June 9, 2018
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4

Unfortunately, it probably will.

bigpawbullets Level 8 June 9, 2018
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3

Finding out what really causes lightning, earthquakes, floods, famine and disease did not kill God, so when the day comes that Scientists create living reproducing cells from chemicals won't either. Like always the Theists will just make up new interpretations that God in his wisdom guided mankind to be able to learn and do this. I expect we will soon find crude different life forms already existing in this solar system, or remnants of them. And we already know now how common water is in our solar system. We may even find crude life forms on planets around other stars too. Finding life like us is very unlikely. The Theists are always free to say Allah did it, or Yahweh did it, or Krishna did it, or just God did it. They need their dreams.

Silverwhisper Level 7 June 13, 2018
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3

GOD is creating this new life and HE is using the hands of the scientists to do it. This is just as HE uses the hands of the scribes of the middle ages to make the BIBLE even more perfect than perfect!

If you capitalize something, that makes it TRUE!

BeerAndWine Level 6 June 10, 2018
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3

for starters facts and science don't change the minds of the indoctrinated, or we would already be teaming with atheist in the population. as far as the religion thing, would it not be the life humans created. that need to start a religion worshiping us? it sounds like you have it backwards. or its the way you wrote it. as far as what life will it be? likely simple cells. complexed life takes time unless we develop artificial intelligence through technology.

MichaelSpinler Level 8 June 9, 2018
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2

Only if they have an artificial god to believe in.

fishline79 Level 6 June 10, 2018
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2

Science gives us technology, neither of which is religion.
If it works, is repeatable, can be understood, requires no faith, and more can be learned about it then it is the opposite of religion.
Religion doesn't work, their claims of miracles aren't repeatable, their Gods can't be understood, their claims require faith, and they claim to already have all the answers, so religion is the opposite of science and technology.
Any questions?

Mortal Level 7 June 10, 2018
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That's why I ask questions because I have questions to ask. Totalitarian answers serve no purpose but to attempt to end questioning. Don't ever imagine that because you believe your answer to be a complete truth there's nothing further to add. That is exactly how faith based religion answers questions. Leave your mind open and you might find some enlightenment creep in unexpectedly. Now I'm willing to bet you'll read this response in a negative way and get angry but wait a moment and really examine your thoughts is there any possibility that you did respond a little bit totalitarian? I know you asked for questions but did you really want any? Furthermore as to questions, how do you suppose the religious community would respond if science demonstrated what they've always claimed only god could do? If science keeps pushing god into smaller spaces advancing our knowledge of the universe and life and displacing religious beliefs, where will the god concept go? Will science kill god? Can science kill god? Is faith going to survive?

@Josephine Why would I get angry? All my life I've been surrounded by stupid people that believe in either salvation or enlightenment. If you look at my answer you'll see that science always has more to learn. God is a fictional character like Peter Pan so like Peter Pan God will never die, but he might be forgotten for the irrelevance that he represents. There's nothing totalitarian in my answer, is it totalitarian to make comic books about Thor? After all he wasn't an alien from a planet like Asgard before Marvel Comics said he was, he was a God that people believed in and would be offended for were they alive today to see his depiction. Nothing is sacred and faith is wishful thinking. Science has already built living cells from raw materials by copying a simple cell found in nature. So this has already been done. Now what? Now nothing! Everything continues as it always has.

2

No. It's what it is. Artificial Life, nothing more.

Gigantes Level 2 June 10, 2018
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2

Religion is about a belief (faith) in something that cannot be proven as factual using the scientific method. (How can we "kill god" when there isn't one to begin with?) Science, on the other hand, is about well-tested, provable facts. So, it only follows that if we create new life, it wouldn't become a new religion.

Happyatheist Level 4 June 9, 2018
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well said

Killing god isn't about an actual being, that's ridiculous, it's the concept of god and faith in god. If science shows that life can be created from none life to we destroy that concept or reinforce it? What would a devoutly religious person say to it? How would they reconcile their faith in god if science does what they've claimed only god can do?

2

Are you asking if the newly created life will create it's own religion?

jlynn37 Level 8 June 9, 2018
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1

If there is profit to be made I am sure there will be corporate sanctioned mass.

RoseyRose Level 5 June 13, 2018
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1

It will be called science.

Maestro Level 4 June 10, 2018
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1

Gee, what did the cavemen believe?

IAJO163 Level 6 June 10, 2018
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1

Since belief in things easily proven false is so common, why should adding a few new facts to the mix change anything?

GeorgeRocheleau Level 7 June 10, 2018
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1

Uhhh...Nope.

ronodokk Level 5 June 9, 2018
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0

It only "kills god" if you define god as human ignorance.

ldheinz Level 6 July 3, 2018
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0

The biggest theological problem would probably be with regard to the Soul. Greek word psyche defines the soul as the breath of god being breathed into the human. A similar circumstance with Ruarch, the Hebrew word for the same (sort of!). This would probably kick off a marathon debate regarding when, if it all, is the soul introduced to the body.The doctrinal implications for Christianity would be immense. Is a synthesised human soul-less? Are they therefore less than human? If they are deemed to be without a soul are they to be considered able to be resurrected? If not, how are they to be accepted within doctrine. MAry Shelley with the help of husband Percy presented such a creature to the world. My feeling is, for Christianity at least, this creates a major theological conundrum to outdo the Arian Controversy that lasted for most of C400. All this is, of course, a theological debate with an outcome that should not concern us, other than the potential to create great harm for those who may be deemed to be without the touch of God, pariahs, Outsiders.

Geoffrey51 Level 7 June 10, 2018
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