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Did an interview on In The Market with Janet Parshall on Thursday, February 17. You can listen to the recording here.

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Review on Newsvine

An RTB apologist posted an awesome review of Creating Life in the Lab on Newsvine.com. Here’s a sample of what he has to say about the book:

…this book addresses the moral, philosophical, and religious worldview implications of creating life. Many people have wondered, “Will the creation of artificial and synthetic life-forms mean that there’s no need for God, as the Creator?” Dr. Rana’s answer is an emphatic “No!” In fact he successfully argues that this work actually provides evidence for the need for a Creator of life.

You can read the entire review here.

Interview with Apologetics 315

Yesterday, I was a guest on the Apologetics 315 podcast. I talked with Brian Auten about Creating Life in the Lab, the implications of synthetic biology, and more. The interview recording is available at the Apologetics 315 blog.

I will be speaking to the RTB Orange County Chapter about “Making the Case for Intelligent Design: A Three-Pillar Approach.”

Saturday, February 12
10:30 AM—12:30 PM

Location: First Evangelical Free Church

2904 N. Brea Blvd

Fullerton, CA 92835 Map/directions

This event is free of charge. Following the talk, I will be available to autograph my newest book, Creating Life in the Lab.

For more information about this event, click here, or email Virgil Robertson at OrangeCounty@reasons.org.

Had an opportunity to talk about Creating Life in the Lab on The Frank Pastore Show. You can listen to a recording of the interview by visiting the synthetic biology page on the RTB website.

My colleague astronomer Hugh Ross included Creating Life in the Lab in the Reasons To Believe ministry letter this month:

To believe life is here because God created it here seems far more reasonable. That belief grows all the stronger based on the story Dr. Rana tells in his newly released book, Creating Life in the Lab! As he describes what researchers have invested and discovered in the remarkable feat of assembling even the constituent parts of what we call life in meticulously controlled lab environments, readers gain an astounding new glimpse of the awesome mind and heart of the Creator. Fuz’s book represents the best of RTB’s efforts to step out in front of scientific breakthroughs to explain their contribution to the case for our faith. In this book you’ll find the most comprehensive treatment available from any scientific, theological or philosophical perspective on both the dangers and the promises of synthetic biology, the most recent frontier in life sciences.

To sign up for the RTB monthly ministry letter and other free publications, call (800) 482-7836.

Synopsis of Creating Life in the Lab: what it’s about and why I decided to write it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center research scientist and RTB apologist Rich Deem posted a review of Creating Life in the Lab on his website, www.godandscience.org (a treasure trove of apologetics articles in its own right).

When asked what makes the difference between a good hockey player and a great one, Wayne Gretzky replied (I’m paraphrasing): A good hockey player skates to the puck; a great one skates to where the puck is going to be.

One of our goals at Reasons To Believe is to skate to where the apologetics puck is going to be. We want to anticipate scientific advance before it happens. That way we can equip Christians with a ready response when a breakthrough does occur.

Baker Books recently released my latest work, Creating Life in the Lab. The book tells the story of scientists’ efforts to create artificial, nonnatural, novel single-cell entities in the lab. Anticipating their success, I explore how their research may impact Christianity.

Though it seems like science fiction, the quest for artificial life will soon reach its goal. In 2010, biologist Craig Venter’s research team announced the development of a methodology for generating synthetic bacteria unlike any that exists in nature. Other investigators have successfully used genetic engineering techniques to modify microbes, giving them novel metabolic capabilities. Biologist Jack Szostak of Harvard University heads up a research team on the cusp of “creating” (starting with simple chemical compounds) protocells that manifest many of life’s key properties.

The creation of life in the lab will usher in a biotechnology revolution with unimaginable potential benefit for humanity. Applications for medicine, agriculture, and industry will radically transform the world. But this potential advance also raises troubling questions. Are these artificial life-forms safe? Are human beings trying to “play God”? Is it ethical to make artificial life?

For many Christians, the most troubling question is theological: If life can be assembled in a lab, is God necessary to explain life’s existence? Some scientists assert that if we can make life, then there is nothing special about life. Our creative ability lends credence, they suggest, to the idea that life evolved from nonliving matter on Earth’s surface.

I disagree. In Creating Life in the Lab, I show that, rather than validating an evolutionary explanation for life’s origin, work in synthetic biology will unwittingly demonstrate that life must come from the work of an intelligent Agent. By working our way to where the puck is going to be in the synthetic biology arena, we have poised Christian apologetics to score an important goal in the case for the Creator.