This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines three explanations of origins of earthly life, namely, chemical self-assembly, panspermia, and superbugs. It provides an overview of the chemical basis for life as revealed by molecular biology. The book also examines J. Craig Venter and his team's successes first at the National Institutes of Health, then at The Institute for Genomic Research, largely funded by a for-profit firm, Human Genome Sciences, Inc. It discusses Venter's post-Celera organizational structure and the funding of his nonprofit entities. The book analyzes the policy aspects of writing life. It discusses the problems posed by the patent system, namely, possibility of "unfair" monopolies resulting from the granting of intellectual property rights in synthetic organisms, processes, and products. The book also discusses the quest to write life, including retooling the metabolic pathways in organisms and the creation of artificial life, forged by human intelligence.