Home » Origin Of Life » Coffee!!: From the Ballad of Craig Venter: Create the Easter Bunny from scratch, and his estate could sue you for hoppyright infringement …

Coffee!!: From the Ballad of Craig Venter: Create the Easter Bunny from scratch, and his estate could sue you for hoppyright infringement …

Yes, the Bunny is dead, but his lawyers aren’t, see?

You may have heard this one, from Dennis Overbye (New York Times, February 21, 2011):

Using mail-order snippets of DNA, Dr. Venter and his colleagues stitched together the million-letter genetic code of a bacterium of a goat parasite last year and inserted it into another bacterium’s cell, where it took over, churning out blue-stained copies of itself. Dr. Venter advertised his genome as the wave of future migration to the stars. Send a kit of chemicals and a digitized genome across space.”We’ll create panspermia if it didn’t already exist,” he said.

The new genome included what Dr. Venter called a watermark. Along with the names of the researchers were three quotations, from the author James Joyce; Robert Oppenheimer, who directed the building of the atomic bomb; and the Caltech physicist Richard Feynman: “What I cannot build, I do not understand.”

- “A Romp Into Theories of the Cradle of Life”

Then Irish novelist James Joyce’s estate threatened to sue, because Venter had allegedly violated Joyce’s copyright.

And Caltech called to complain that Feynman had been misquoted:

The institute sent a photograph of an old blackboard on which Feynman had written, “What I cannot create, I do not understand.”

And so, as Overbye notes, Venter’s genome “is now in the process of acquiring its first, non-Darwinian mutation.”

Last time we talked about Overbye’s article it was to note his  lighthearted approach to recently spotted “flightless words” about the origin of life.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

2 Responses to Coffee!!: From the Ballad of Craig Venter: Create the Easter Bunny from scratch, and his estate could sue you for hoppyright infringement …

  1. I think there’s another piece to this question and we see it here in the editors note at the top of the longer list of ID articles Denyse mentions above.

    Editors’ Note: Critics of intelligent design often claim that design advocates don’t publish their work in appropriate scientific literature. For example, Barbara Forrest, a philosophy professor at Southeastern Louisiana University, was quoted in USA Today (March 25, 2005) that design theorists “aren’t published because they don’t have scientific data.”

    Barbara Forrest’s comment is completely disingenuous as she along with most of her fellow Darwinians attempt to define science in such a way as to exclude ID from scientific consideration <a priori. Its pretty easy to say “you have no scientific data” when you refuse to accept on arbitrary definitional grounds that anything offered is actually scientific.

    To extend Denyse analogy about counterfeit currency, its as if the counterfeiters arbitrarily decided to redefine “real” currency such that the real money was no longer regarded as such, but the counterfeit was.

  2. Yes indeed, DonaldM. As per your extension of the analogy, one can only restore the credibility of the currency by pointing out that the counterfeits are not backed by goods and services, but merely generated as if they were. The analogy to Darwinism should be obvious:

    Counterfeit currency only becomes a problem to the counterfeiters when people are alert and refuse to accept it.

    Then the demand for real currency begins.

Leave a Reply