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Rigil Kent (June 02, 2014, 10:44:25 AM):
No, I'm sure they just wash the stuff down the basin at the end of the day.
Ah, so THAT'S how creationists evolved. Someone better count their base pairs.
BoogieMonster (June 02, 2014, 11:45:32 AM):
Currently, the probability is much greater that an engineered or naturally mutated pathogen could appear and decimate humanity than that abiogenesis research would produce a simple new life form that attacks humans.

Point taken.

I would however want to point out that such a life form wouldn't have to attack humans per se. A simple thing that is really good at eating bacteria could have similarly dire consequences.
The Vulcan (June 02, 2014, 12:03:32 PM):
If current expert knowledge is to be trusted, we’re still quite a long way off from creating any new life forms.

I don't really know all too much about abiogenesis, but given that we can't even say we now know about all the elements that already exist, I don't see how we can create even new elements that don't occur naturally somewhere. I heard a while back that it stands at something like 118? I think the table we got at school only went to a 103 or something
Rigil Kent (June 02, 2014, 12:26:51 PM):
Making new very heavy elements is only of academic importance. They usually go to pieces soon after being created. In my opinion you shouldn't call something an element if you can't bottle it and show at least half of it to your grandchildren.

Mefiante (June 02, 2014, 12:38:00 PM):
There are sound QM reasons why there’s a strong negative correlation between the atomic mass of nuclei and their half-life. As Rigil has indicated, synthesised heavy nuclei very rapidly decay into smaller, more stable pieces. You can read more about naturally-occurring vs. synthesised elements here.



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