John Craig Venter (born October 14, 1946) is an American biologist and entrepreneur, most famous for his role in being one of the first to sequence the human genome and for his role in creating the first cell with a synthetic genome in 2010. Venter founded Celera Genomics, The Institute for Genomic Research and the J. Craig Venter Institute, now working at the latter to create synthetic biological organisms and to document genetic diversity in the world's oceans. He was listed on Time magazine's 2007 and 2008 Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In 2010, The British Magazine New Statesman Listed Craig Venter at 14th in the list of "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures 2010".
In a segment of Richard Dawkins' award winning series, The Genius of Charles Darwin: The Uncut Interviews, Dawkins has the following exchange with Venter:
Richard Dawkins: Well, Craig, you're obviously proving that real intelligent design works.
Craig Venter: Absolutely.
Richard Dawkins: But are you sometimes accused of playing God?
Craig Venter: Uh, it's come up on a few headlines here and there. But uh, there's a couple different versions. My best friend and colleague that's working with us - Ham [Hamilton] Smith, the Nobel Laureate - his answer to that is, “we don't play.” (*laughs*)
Richard Dawkins: What's your answer?
Craig Venter: My flippant answer is, “I don't play mythical characters.” 48 minute mark
On November 21 2010 on 60 Minutes Craig Venter stated "I don't believe in God."