Biology will save us all

The fortieth anniversary issue of Rolling Stone is chock-full of interviews, including that of Craig Venter, human genome decoder. Here’s what he had to say:

On early life: It may have evolved somewhere else before coming to earth.

On religion: “The more I look at the complexity of the genome, the less need there is for any religion aspect to it.”

On challenges facing the world: “People think they’re going to solve everything by buying a few carbon credits so they can justify what they are doing, but we need fundamental solutions. I think biology can provide a major part, if not the entire solution.”

On virus outbreaks: “The number-one complaint against what we’re doing with synthetic biology is that we will create a man-made virus. But the real danger is that the government is funding very little research into antivirals and antibiotics, and neither are pharmaceutical companies.”

On stem cell research: “There is probably nothing more important to study about human biology than stem cells. The fact that it has been blocked by the Bush administration on religious grounds is one of the intellectual tragedies of the century.”

On fighting global warming with biology: “Biology created our entire planet – we have an oxygen-driven atmosphere because it is created by plants and other living things. It’s the only thing that could possibly work on the scale needed to reverse global warming.”

On the meaning of life: “My answer is that life has no meaning. It’s part of the natural world around us – life comes and goes. But lives can have meaning. If everybody focused on what they can do, the world would be a very different place.”

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~ by jack, dude on November 6, 2007.

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