The Race to Create Life” is the title of the lead article in the October, 1962, issue of Harper’s Magazine.

“The synthesis of an organism has long been our goal,” state the authors of a recent article in Scientific American.

“Dr. H. C. Watson with model of the mystery of life,” reads the reporter-contrived caption of a newspaper picture showing a scientist holding a complicated molecular model.

“Scientists Close In On The Secret of Life,” declares Life on its cover of October 4, 1963.

Headlines, articles, picture captions such as these are appearing with an accelerating frequency. Do they generate eager excitement over some dramatic new scientific breakthrough? Or do they arouse misgivings and serious doubts?

“If scientists can create life in a test tube, who needs God?” a Christian young man, without any thought of disrespect, asks his father, a pastor, who related the incident to me.

“The very possibility of scientists creating life in a tube has forced me to do considerable rethinking of some of my beliefs,” a well-known seminary professor quietly discloses.

There appears to be more unease than elation among many Christians when they see headlines such as those above. I too am a Christian. I am also a chemist and a teacher of chemistry. I know that developments in science can be upsetting to the Christian community. I know that some few centuries ago most Christians were sure that if the earth were not the center of the universe, then Christianity would collapse. One man, Bruno, was burned, and another, Galileo, was harassed for most of his life for believing the new Copernican astronomy. In more recent times, the idea of an earth considerably older than ...

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