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Welcome to Matt Ridley's Blog
Matt Ridley is the author of provocative books on evolution, genetics and society. His books have sold over a million copies, been translated into thirty languages, and have won several awards.

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Organisms must compete in Nature's jungle

The Red Queen versus Craig Venter's new cell

Here is why Craig Venter's new organism carries absolutely no fears for me: the Red Queen. Evolution is a treadmill.

People speak about artificial life forms getting loose and running amok. But that's not how life works. It's a jungle out there.

Nature is continually trying new life forms on a truly gigantic scale and testing them against each other. Very few get to take over the world even briefly and even they soon succumb to evolving predators, parasites and competitors.

Anything a piddling little human mind -- or even one as big as Craig Venter's -- can design is going to be easy meat for the waiting hordes of predators, parasites and competitors. Don't forget that organisms are food.

(A funny version of Craig Venter's news at Discover's Blog)