Hannah MIller

This conversation is closed.

making life from scratch. Is it possible?

It would seem to me that if we can build organs, we could build organisms. It would require that you recreate every organ in the body, and put them all in the correct order, but essentially it sounds to me that it might be possible soon, and it may be accomplished if we try it. If we were to try, and we succeeded, would that person be considered alive, or artificial, and if it were considered artificial, would it be moral to keep it alive? Another question is why would it be artificial?
My thought would be that it would be evolutionary, because humans have learned over time how to produce an organ, and we have learned anatomy, so that we could fix or reduce our amount of sickness, so it is something that we adapted to do so that we could survive.

Closing Statement from Hannah MIller

Thank you everyone for your insight

  • Jan 27 2014: Maybe we should try to make lemons from lemonade, first ?
    It'll cost less :)
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      Jan 27 2014: Hi Natasha, I think they tried to make life from scratch before, they called him FRANKENSTEIN! I believe you are correct lemonade costs less and is not quite so dangerous. Regards
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    Jan 29 2014: This is my closing statement. Thank you for adding your insight everyone that did. Although it would be cool I don't think that making life from scratch should be what we focus on. I think further that it would be close to impossible sense we don't completely understand the brain, further more the brain has to grow and learn from observation, so it would need an authority figure in order to learn enough to stay alive. It would be mad science to create life from scratch, and it would have all kinds of mental problems, so it would be scary. I like the idea but i know it would not be ethical. How ever if it were possible, would we be considered demi Gods, because If you believe in God, he/she/it made life from scratch, but i don't think it would because we used technology. It is great that we can give people the organs that they need in order to survive, and Im glad about how many people it has saved. Thanks to technology, the human mind, and science, the human can live a little longer than they would have without it, and life is such a beautiful thing that it is a gift that we should enjoy. I want say thank you to all of the scientists, and surgeons that made this possible, because you saved my grandma's life a while back. The conversation isn't closed until tomorrow so if you would like to add to it you are welcome to. Don't say anything about religion. We all have our views, and we are welcome to believe whatever makes us happy.
    • Jan 29 2014: Hello Hannah, seems to me science is your 'religion' or view of reality. However science has taken alive parts and made them live. Is that from scratch??

      How about making an apple from scratch? Really, actual scratch. Do you not realize that 'scratch' does not exist? Does that mean you're going to make it out of nothing? :) Old question.

      If is good to have a debate, but to cut off part of reality does not seem right.
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        Jan 30 2014: Good point. everything does start with something, therefor the literal term of making something from scratch can not be done. My version of from scratch when making life would be without first growing in a womb, but I have come to realize that without a seed, or hypothetical seed nothing lives, or has the illusion of being alive. I should have worded my question a little differently. In your statement above you refereed to science as a religion, and I respect your view on that. I can see where you get that from. Much like Christianity science is based on theories. All though our theories are testable they are still theories, and much like Christianity science evolves over time, but they have evolved for different reasons. In science we are always making new discoveries about the way the world around us works, which leads us to a new theory, and if we prove our theory to be correct we re evaluate it in order to make sure that we are right, and then we believe it. Christianity has evolved over time at a much less rapid scale than science has, but it has still evolved, and the reasoning behind that was to make it seem more believable, which wasn't a bad move, because once Christianity changed a little more people believed it. Christianity is more welcoming now, because it really does comfort people after they had a loved one pass away,because some part of everyone does want to be immortal, but as it is we cant. We do not have consciousness after we die, but we do contribute to the universe when we die. After we are buried,it takes a while, but eventually our bodies turn into dirt, ant they give nutrients to plants, which give nutrients ta animals,and one part of your body that is immortal is the atoms that make up the cells inside of your body.The same atoms that make you made something else in the past. That is what comforts me when I think about death, but everyone has a different way of handling things,so if the thought of an after life comforts you, then go ahead!
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        Jan 30 2014: To add to the comfort in death another thing that comforts me is that my memories will stay alive in other people. I wasn't finished comparing and contrasting though, so One of the major components that makes science differ from Christianity is that one of us is rushing to the finish line, and pretend to love people in order to look good for a divine figure above. The other is going as slow as they can, and making sure that they enjoy everything that life has to offer them on their way to the finish line, and they genuinely care for the people around them, and want them to be able to enjoy the life that they have, at least in my scientific belief. I am a Humanist. I love everyone. However I do not agree with everyone,if agreeing were a component of love then no one would love anyone, because everyone sees things their own way. I do not mean to offend you in any way I am simply basing this off of my observations of humanity. If this helped to clarify something for you, that is great! thankyou for reading. if you want to add to this you are very welcome.
        • Jan 30 2014: Thanks Hannah for your kind response. As the saying goes, each his/her own. We all have to make our own choices and come to conclusions that make sense to us.
          Often I write responses and say what I think, not to change anyone's mind, but to give anyone more choices. We cannot make choices between conditions or views that we don't know exist.
          You say you're a Humanist, great. I am a follower of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) In fact we're celebrating his birthday today :).
          We do not consider ourselves Christian but New Christian. We believe Christianity went off track in the year 325 with the Council of Nicaea. We do not agree with some big items, but that is not for now. We do however regard his writings as the Second Coming of Christ.

          Anyway, to make a long story short. We are what we love, and since you love everyone, seems to me, you have nothing to worry about.

          Best wishes and thanks for your great debate!

          Added, just in case you'd like to read one of the interpretations of what "life" is

          again, all the best
  • Jan 24 2014: The building of organs in the laboratory is within the realm of the technically possible now. However, these constructions are formed by combining a temporary skeleton upon which stem cells can grow and expand. Note, specifically here that we are talking about stem cells here, that is cells that already contain the information required to build the entire body in addition to being undifferentiated, that is still free to become any other cell. The underlying skeleton provides a guide for the cells to grow into. Therefore, there is NOTHING here whatsoever to do with life from scratch, at best it is making use of what is already living.
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    Jan 29 2014: Such an organism would be alive, and artificial at the same time. Artificial just means made by means different that a certain thing would be created naturally. Alive because it is biologically not dead. But what I think what you describe left out is the mind. Where would we get the "software" for the artificially grown brain?
  • Jan 27 2014: Maybe, would be fun to try.
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    • Jan 26 2014: Its probably worth mentioning that conventional evolutionary rules don't apply to civilized life. Failure to ruthlessly cull out the weak sees to that.
      Quality of life shot straight up, but evolutionary development has completely stagnated.

      As civilization further solidifies itself, evolutionary rules apply less and less. Genghis Khan was able to effectively spread his genes through war in the 12th century; take a more modern war leader (or common soldier for that matter) on the other hand, say Napoleon Bonaparte, and you find that his genes didn't exactly spread far and wide.
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      Jan 26 2014: Whose to say that we are more civilized then any other animal in this world, and if you can prove that, whose to say that we are the most civilized species that will ever exist? Evolution does not stop at us. It will continue until the end of all time, and I don't mean just on earth I mean throughout the entire universe or maybe even multiverse. As long as there is an environmental change then there is evolution. One way that humans have evolved over time is that we evolved to breath more toxic air. If you were to take a person from the 1700's and bring them back to life they would not be used to the air and they would not stay alive for very long. They would also have a culture shock haha!
  • Jan 26 2014: Hi Hannah,it is a creative idea,I am looking forwared to it's day
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    Jan 24 2014: My god~!So why do people need their mothers?
  • Jan 23 2014: Not with today's technology, but there is no theoretical reason that says it won't be done in the future.

    The primary setback is the complexity of the processes involved. We don't fully understand the life around us, much less have the know how to make any from scratch.

    As for the morality of it, personally I don't think anything short of making a person or something of comparable intelligence is even worth bickering over. Single celled organisms, parts of organisms (including human--an artificial kidney doesn't think after all, its not a person), and even plants and animals are all fair game. We've been harnessing and even selectively breeding them since before the dawn of civilization to great benefit, and I don't see any reason to stop just because they came from a lab.
    When you start messing about with thinking artificial humans on the other hand, that's when you need to start being careful.
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      Jan 23 2014: Thank you for you input Nadav. You are correct that we would need a higher understanding of the human body in order to make this possible. life is very complex. We would have to learn what makes a brain function while it is living, and how to crate brainwaves just to crate a brain. I think that it will be possible in the near future though. I think that it would be really cool to see a life form that was not reproduced by another life form.
      One other thing that would prevent us from being able to do this is that it would be highly expensive. The economy is bad enough as it is.
      • Jan 26 2014: Actually, I can think of no shortage of ways to make money from artificial life. Genetically engineering existing flora and fauna is well and good, but when you're designing something as a tool, sometimes making modifications to an existing designs isn't enough, and things must be built from the ground up.

        Which is currently a problem, as we haven't the faintest clue how to build life from the ground up. Comparing biological designs to artificial ones, we understand things on such a rudimentary level that our doctors (some of our best and brightest) do their work on the same level as technicians, and no one can preform on the equivalent level of engineer.
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    Jan 22 2014: Hi everyone I started this debater, because I am curious what everyone thinks about this.