If you think about it, life is created from scratch when a child is conceived. Now it might not be the same thing as creating life in a test tube or in the ways of a god, but it is one from of life being created normally. If cells can be synthetically created, then that in itself is life. Growing a plant is creating life. Everyday a life is being created by someone out there. Just because a human life cannot be created from a test tube exactly, does not mean all life can't be created, since their is life being created everyday.
First of all, my answer differs slightly depending on what you mean with "from scratch". If it means making an artificial organism or lifeform in a lab, that has already been done (see the link from psyduck).
If "from scratch" means instead entirely from scratch, as in from nothing, I think it's equally possible, just far in the future. The question brought to mind a story a heard some time back:
Scientists tell God they have discovered how to make life. So God says, "Show me." The scientists grab a bucket of dirt and start to put it in a machine when God stops them and says, "You have to use your own dirt, not mine."
I don't believe in God, but I find the story amusing and it illustrates the other potential meaning of "from scratch", namely from nothing. The solution to that problem is virtual particles. Virtual particles, if 'boosted' into real particles, could provide the particles necessary to make life. You could essentially make life from nothing if you had enough virtual particles turned into real particles.
I think scientists will someday be able to create some thing which will meet some measured definition of 'being alive', but I don't think they'll ever be able to create something as complex as even a fly. The real question is whether or not there's a soul, because science will never be able to duplicate that. Then the life they create will be like a cake without any flavor. What's the point?
It's all a matter of time before science manages to successfully replicate/create life. Life developed through natural processes, and it is thus only a matter of time and effort before we can learn and eventually replicate those processes. The argument "Failed thus far" is basically invalid in my opinion, for obvious reasons. And the argument "We are not God(/gods)" is utterly ridiculous, and only showcases religious bigotry and a lack of scientific understanding.
(Sorry for any grammatical errors, English is not my main language.)
- Greetings from Norway.
A genome has already been created from scratch and placed in a host cell to create a synthetic cell. So scientists are essentially only a few steps away from accomplishing this goal. Those steps are synthesizing the cytoplasmic components and the membrane. I don't see how any of those steps is an impossibility.
Just look at the advances science has done in such a short time. The no side's argument has no foundation. Just because we havent done it yet does not mean it cant be done. So many things have been done that was once thought only gods can do. What was once thought of as "miraculous" is not so miraculous any longer. To suggest that we are unable simply because we would have to have the same ingredients as what was available 4 billion years ago is a cop-out. To steal a reply to that, You dont need to mill the flour yourself or wait for an egg to come out of your chicken or even create a chicken first to get an egg to say you made the cake from scratch. There will always be the guy who says wait a sec, that's not the same because____. That logic can be applied to anything.
I don't think that we'll be able to create life from the base elements for a while, but I do think It will be possible in the future. Though the hard bit will be create a consciousness for it, as we have absolutely no ideA what it is as of yet.
While some scientists have boasted that it is possible to make life from scratch, it is interesting to me that they would have to be able to do the very thing that many of those same scientists would have to use particles in existence already to accomplish their claim. To create life without anything, from scratch, they would have to enter a realm where nothing exists at all and proceed with their scientific experiment, however, by entering said hypothetical realm, being themselves an element, they negate the validity of their experiment. It is impossible for a life form to be created from scratch in anything less than something beyond the ability of a human.
While scientists are tinkering with creating life, when they do so they're still using things that already exist. As an example, a creature called a Synthia was created in a lab. However, it was created from chemicals and a cell. These weren't created from scratch themselves, so I would argue that neither was Synthia. Especially since it used a cell that was not created in the lab, but was already alive and in existence. The fact that we can't really create it ourselves is why the living spark is so miraculous.
No, it is not possible to create life from scratch, because that is the function of God. Only God took the non-living things and breathed the breath of life. Life is from God. Only God can give life and take it away. As long as humans try, we will never be able to create life from scratch.
Scientists have studied the concept of creating life from scratch and many trials have been attempted, but nothing has met success. Humans have not been able to recreate what we think happened in the slime billions of years ago. I think this is an interesting topic and its something we should continue to experiment with, but we have yet to accomplish this goal.