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Working to build
a living organism from scratch, scientists heading up genome research
projects across America, in Canada and around the world are getting big
bucks to fund their labs. Federal, and state governments, private
venture capitalists are pumping phenomenal sums of money into genome
research for various applications. Recently reported in the news since
No doubt much more
money than this is being channeled into genome
research. X Prizes is offering from 5 million to 20 million dollar
prizes for outstanding scientific breakthroughs in the field. Untold
amounts are being invested by the petrochemical-pharmaceutical
mammoths. But what are people—taxpayers and corporate
shareholders—getting for their money?
- 42.6 million
dollars from Bill and Melinda Gates
- 24.5 million dollars from the Moore Foundation
- 13 million dollars from venture capitalists
- 570,000 dollars from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
- 500 million dollar facility at Janelia Farm Rearch Campus
by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
- and just today it is reported that Iowa State University
genetic research scientists have received a grant of 600,000 dollars
from the National Science Foundation together with a 650,000 dollar
grant from Iowa State University for the purchase of a super computer
to enable them to decipher the genomes of corn.
Every now and then reports surface of exciting new developments in
putting together the building blocks of organisms, but this has been
going on for 30 years or more. Lately The Scientist
a story ("Is
This Life?" by JACK
LUCENTINI, January 2006) that begins
with a description of "ersatz sacs"
membranes floating "in a watery mixture in Jack
Szostak's laboratory at
Harvard Medical School", "pulsing with that fetid, yet undeniable
quality that has eluded definition for generations - life." The
next sentence? "But these orbs aren't alive."
teaser. There's more. Wading through 1-1/2 pages more of thick
scientific jargon describing progress so far in different research
facilities in USA, the reader runs smack into:
now, these inventions exist mainly as computer simulations;
real-life testing is only just beginning. Rasmussen says ... "We're
trying to understand why and how matter can self-organize? and become
living. What is it in nature that enables it to do that? That's the
deep question here."
the real question is whether these scientists are unwitting parties
to what has got to be the most colossal hoax perpetrated on mankind or
deliberate conspirators all out to milk the giant cash cows and etch
their names onto the Nobel Peace Prize and the pages of prestigious
journals by every unscrupulous device, as we saw recently in the case
of the Korean stem cell debacle. There is no question at all that they
cannot produce life. The scientists have been promising since forever
that one day they will zap life into a synthetic form pieced together
from scratch in their laboratories, but it's every bit fiction today as
in the time of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
and World Crisis
Prabhupada: It is said in the Vedas,
yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati (Mundaka
Upanishad 1.3): "If one knows the Absolute Truth, then all other
things become known." I am not a Ph.D., yet I can challenge the
scientists. Why? Because I know Krishna, the Absolute Truth. Yasmin
sthito na duhkhena gurunapi vichalyate: "If one is situated in
Krishna consciousness, then even in the greatest calamities he will not
be disturbed." (Bhagavad-gita 6.22) Srimad-Bhagavatam
(1.5.22) declares, avichyuto 'rithah kavibhir nirupito yad
uttamashloka-gunanuvarnanam: "Great personalities have decided
that Krishna consciousness is the perfection of life." This kind of
knowledge is required. Not that we do some research, come up with a
theory, and after fifteen years say, "No, no, it is not right—it is
another thing." That is not science; that is child's play.
Dr. Singh: That is how they discover things—by
Srila Prabhupada: And what is the cost of the research? It
is a scientific method for drawing money from others, that's all. In
other words, it is cheating. Scientists juggle words like plutonium,
photons, hydrogen and oxygen, but what good will people get from this?
When people hear this jugglery of words, what can they say? One
scientist explains something to some extent, and then another rascal
comes along and explains it again, but differently, with different
words. And all the time the phenomenon has remained the same. What
advancement has been made? They have simply produced volumes of books.
Now there is a petrol problem. Scientists have created it. If the
petrol supply dwindles away, what will these rascal scientists do? They
are powerless to do anything about it. ( Life Comes From Life,
The Fourth Morning Walk, April 29, 1973 "Word Jugglery and World
Prabhupada: The material elements are not creative! Only the soul
is creative. Life cannot be created from matter, and matter cannot
create itself. You, a living entity, can mix hydrogen and oxygen to
create water. But matter itself has no creative potency. If you place a
bottle of hydrogen near a bottle of oxygen, will they automatically
combine, without your help?
Dr. Singh: No. They must be mixed.
Srila Prabhupada: Of course. Oxygen and hydrogen are
Krishna's inferior energy, but when you, the superior energy, mix them,
then they can become water.
Cause and the Immediate Cause
Prabhupada: Inferior energy has no power unless superior energy is
involved. This sea [indicating the Pacific Ocean] is calm and quiet.
But when the superior force, air, pushes it, it manifests high waves.
The ocean has no power to move without the superior force of the air.
Similarly, there is another force superior to the air, and another and
another, until ultimately we arrive at Krishna. This is real research.
Krishna controls nature just as an engineer controls a train. The
engineer controls the locomotive, which pulls one car, and that car in
turn pulls another, which pulls another, and so the whole train is
moving. Similarly, with the creation, Krishna gives the first push, and
then, by means of successive pushes, the entire cosmic manifestation
comes into being and is maintained. This is explained in Bhagavad-gita
(9.10). Mayadhyakshena prakritih suyate sacharacharam:
"This material nature is working under My direction and is producing
all moving and unmoving beings." And in the Fourteenth Chapter [Bhagavad-gita
14.4] Krishna says:
murtayah sambhavanti yah
tasam brahma mahad yonir
aham bija-pradah pita
species of life are made possible by birth in this material nature, O
son of Kunti, and I am the seed-giving father."
example, if we sow a banyan seed, a huge tree eventually comes up and,
along with it, millions of new seeds. Each of these seeds can in turn
produce another tree with millions of new seeds, and so on. This is how
Krishna, the original seed-giving father, is the primary cause of
everything we see.
Unfortunately, the scientists observe only the immediate cause; they
cannot perceive the remote cause. Krishna is described in the Vedas
as sarva-karana-karanam [Brahma-samhita
5.1], the cause of all causes. If one understands the cause of all
causes, then he understands everything. Yasmin vijnate sarvam
evam vijnatam bhavati (Mundaka Upanishad 1.3): "If
one knows the original cause, the subordinate causes are automatically
known." Although the scientists are searching after the original cause,
when the Vedas, perfect knowledge, declare the original
cause to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the scientists won't
accept it. They keep to their partial, imperfect knowledge. This is
Prabhupada: Scientists do not know that there are two types of
energy—inferior and superior—
although they are actually working with these two energies every day.
Material energy can never work independently; it must first come in
contact with spiritual energy. So how can people accept that the entire
cosmic manifestation, which is nothing but matter, has come about
automatically? A competent machine does not work unless a man who knows
how to work it pushes a button. A Cadillac is a nice car, but if it has
no driver, what is the use of it? So the material universe is also a
People are amazed at seeing a big machine with many, many parts, but an
intelligent person knows that however wonderful a machine may be, it
does not work unless an operator comes and pushes the proper button.
Therefore, who is more important—the operator or the machine? So we are
concerned not with the material machine—this cosmic manifestation—but
with its operator, Krishna. Now you may say, "Well, how do I know that
He is the operator?" Krishna says, mayadhyakshena prakritih
suyate sacharacharam: [
Bhagavad-gita 9.10] "Under My direction the whole cosmic
manifestation is working." If you say, "No, Krishna is not the operator
behind the cosmos," then you have to accept another operator, and you
must present him. But this you cannot do. Therefore, in the absence of
your proof, you should accept mine. (Life Comes From Life, The
Fourth Morning Walk, April 29, 1973 "Sankhya Philosophy and Modern