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Puttin’ on the Ritz

My plans that day were simple: do as little as possible. Committed to that goal, I sauntered over to the couch with casual conviction.

Oh! Young Frankenstein is on, I thought, as I scrolled through the channels. A serendipitous discovery considering I was vegging in preparation for the hectic schedule of editing a book about scientists’ efforts to create life in the lab.

The editorial stage of Fazale “Fuz” Rana’s latest magnum opus is nearing its end. By this time next week it will be on its way to our publisher for additional polishing. Till then, I and several others are fervently searching for grammar no-no’s (tough to find in Fuz’s work) to get the manuscript prepared. For that reason, this week’s blog is short and focused on the respective work.

In Creating Life in the Lab, Fuz explains scientists’ attempts to assemble a living entity in the lab and what that endeavor means for the creation/evolution controversy. Step-by-step, he describes the research involved in creating a novel life-form, including defining life’s characteristics, life’s minimum complexity, and the conditions of early Earth.

For Christians, the initial response to these pursuits may be this: If scientists’ goal is to discover how life could arise from nonliving chemical systems and then to re-create that life, what does that say about the need for a Creator?

As the book unfolds, it becomes clear just how daunting a task it is to re-create even the first steps in the origin-of-life process. The world’s greatest minds are devoted to understanding how life originated through natural processes. Yet, should some of these great minds eventually succeed in creating life in the lab, it will merely “reflect what’s possible when a researcher—an intelligent agent—orchestrates physicochemical processes.”

“It seems more likely,” Fuz adds, “[this endeavor] is emulating God’s handiwork than making the Creator irrelevant.”


Look for Creating Life in the Lab in early 2011. In the meantime, check out the Science News Flash podcast and Today’s New Reason to Believe blog, where Fuz Rana and the rest of the scholar team share headline-grabbing discoveries and how they harmonize with the Bible.