Synthetic Biology and the Meaning of Life (2009)
Henk van den Belt's article analyses arguments rasied in the emerging societal debates on synthetic biology and the way its practitioners respond to criticism. It focuses on the metaphors and theological arguments used in the debates and asks what kind of concerns they actually address. In its conclusion, it finds that "as long as synthetic biology creates only new microbial life and does not directly affect human life, it will in all likelihood be considered acceptable".
Henk van den Belt (2009): Playing God in Frankenstein’ s Footsteps: Synthetic Biology and the Meaning of Life. Nanoethics 3(3): 257–268
The paper is available open access at the journal's website (DOI 10.1007/s11569-009-0079-6).