What actually happens when scientists say they have synthesized a cell

Here are the parts of a car. This is not all the parts because obviously some of this is already constructed. You have these seats already put together but there’s a lot of pieces. Could you put that together? Probably few people could put that together. If you had no directions, could you put it together? Very few could put that together. What if you had no tools? What if you didn’t have a ring compressor to compress the rings when you were putting the pistons in? What would you do? It’d be hard with no tools. You need building blocks for a car. Each one of these parts is a building block for the car. Where do you get those building blocks? You just go to rockauto.com. On Rock Auto, you can go to look up any vehicle, look up any year and you can buy the parts for your car. What if you couldn’t buy the parts at rock auto, you had to go back to the basics and make each one of those parts? What do you mean back to the basics? I mean you need the building blocks to build those building blocks. You need bauxite, which is aluminum ore, to make all the aluminum parts. You need copper ore to make the copper parts. You need iron ore to make the iron parts. Then you need crude oil to make all the plastic, all the foam cushions, all the synthetic seat covers, any piece of plastic covering over a wire, all that comes from crude oil. How many people know how to get crude oil into all these forms of plastic? Probably very few. How many people know how to take copper ore and get copper out of it so that’s a usable form, so you can make all that copper wiring? How many people know how to take iron ore and turn it into steel? How about bauxite or aluminum ore and turn it into first aluminum oxide and then treat the aluminum oxide with a carbon electrode and a very high voltage where sacrificial carbon electrode goes to CO2 and you reduce the aluminum oxide to aluminum metal. How many people know how to do that? It’s hard. So if I told you to go ahead and build that car, build all those building blocks, this is what you have to do to build the building blocks. Because you’re starting with a prebiotic earth, this is what you have to do. If you really had a prebiotic earth, you wouldn’t have any crude oil because it is supposed that crude oil is a product of biological degradation but let’s just say you had these and I said “Go ahead and build that car, I’ll give you.” You would say “There’s no way I can do that.” That’s what you’re stuck with, that’s what origin of life is up against. It’s not just taking building blocks that you can get from rockauto.com building blocks that you can buy from a manufacturer, it is not buying the carbohydrates already put together in the form that you want, it is having to make those from prebiotic chemicals. It is not taking each one of these compounds and making it from the known building blocks, you have to build the building blocks first before you can use those building blocks to make what you want to make.