Among physicists, I'm respected I hope.
I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.
Stem cell research is the key to developing cures for degenerative conditions like Parkinson's and motor neuron disease from which I and many others suffer. The fact that the cells may come from embryos is not an objection, because the embryos are going to die anyway.
When we understand string theory, we will know how the universe began. It won't have much effect on how we live, but it is important to understand where we come from and what we can expect to find as we explore.
Marquis de Condorcet