John - I think you misread the recent exchange between Brent and
myself. Brent was asserting that the question "What is life" is
somehow obsolete - not resolved per se, but no longer interesting. I
was asserting the opposite - that it is indeed still open.

As for life-like - it is a weasel word. It can mean whatever the
author desires, although in practice, ALife article referees have a
"pornography test"
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know_it_when_I_see_it) to determine
whether an article should be considered on topic.

Cheers

On Sun, Jun 26, 2011 at 06:57:34PM -0400, John Mikes wrote:
> Russell:
> 
> "...Life-like phenomena"
> implies something 'life-like'. So: LIKE WHAT are those phenomena?
> I would not turn to my other side in peace that biologists are negligent. I
> ask them:
> what do you have in mind when you SAY:  l i f e  ?  (their base line: the
> 'bio')
> It is more than just biochem churnings of C,O,H,N,P,...based molecules.
> Robert Rosen said: Metabolism and Repair - but on WHAT substrate?  Brent is
> right, the question is open. Then again consider the phenomena in different
> 'physical' environments - maybe in totally different circumstantial ones.
> Alife has wide borders I suppose. Hi temp, anerobic, hi/low pressure,
> different Mendelejeff set-up, different gravity, density, etc. etc.?
> Consciousness is not far and (my agnostic views) the so far unknown factors
> get involved as we learn about them. I call this one a response to relations
> (formerly: information).
> Life can be anything that changes? where does mentality come in?
> John M
> 
> On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 6:04 PM, Russell Standish 
> <li...@hpcoders.com.au>wrote:
> 
> > On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 10:44:37AM -0700, meekerdb wrote:
> > > But of course we can prove that a machine can think to the same
> > > degree we can prove other people think.  That we cannot prove it
> > > from some self-evident set of axioms is completely unsurprising.
> > > This comports with my idea that with the development of AI the
> > > "question of consciousness" will come to be seen as a archaic, like
> > > "What is life?".
> > >
> > > Brent
> >
> > "What is life?" is _still_ a vexing question. Biologists don't worry
> > too much about it, because the answer to it doesn't really help their
> > day-to-day work. But in the Artificial Life field, it is more
> > acute. Mostly we dodge the issue by saying we're studying "life-like"
> > phenomena, and leave it at that, but at every ALife conference I've
> > been to, there has been a session (with multiple papers addressing
> > this or connected topics).
> >
> >
> > --
> >
> >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
> > Principal, High Performance Coders
> > Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
> > University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au
> >
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University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au
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