On Saturday, September 29, 2012 10:49:47 PM UTC-4, Jason wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 29, 2012 at 8:29 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>
> > wrote:
>> On Saturday, September 29, 2012 1:41:25 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
>>> On Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 1:49 AM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> 
>>> wrote: 
>>> >> But 
>>> >> leaving that obvious fact aside, the other obvious fact is that 
>>> >> evolution has used organic chemistry to make self-replicators because 
>>> >> that was the easiest way to do it. Do you imagine that if it were 
>>> easy 
>>> >> to evolve steel claws which helped predators catch prey that steel 
>>> >> claws would not have evolved? What would have prevented their 
>>> >> evolution, divine intervention? 
>>> > 
>>> > 
>>> > You are assuming that there are other options though. Maybe there are, 
>>> but 
>>> > we don't know that for sure yet. If there were, it seems like there 
>>> would be 
>>> > either multiple kinds of biology in the history of the world, or 
>>> individual 
>>> > species which have mutated to exploit the variety of inorganic 
>>> compounds in 
>>> > the universe available. What prevented their evolution is the same 
>>> thing 
>>> > that creates thermodynamic irreversibility out of reversible quantum 
>>> wave 
>>> > functions. The universe is an event, not a machine. When something 
>>> happens, 
>>> > the whole universe is changed, and maybe that change becomes the 
>>> active 
>>> > arrow of qualitative progress. Organic chemistry got there first, 
>>> therefore 
>>> > that door may be closed - unless we, as biological agents, open a new 
>>> one. 
>>> Iron is already present in haemoglobin and myoglobin. For that matter, 
>>> silicon may also be an essential micronutrient for bone health 
>>> (http://www.spritzer.com.my/**WebLITE/Applications/news/**
>>> uploaded/docs/Dietary%**20Silicon%202004.pdf<http://www.spritzer.com.my/WebLITE/Applications/news/uploaded/docs/Dietary%20Silicon%202004.pdf>).
>>> What prevents these elements from being utilised in a different way? 
>>> Would it disprove your entire theory if we found an animal living in 
>>> some forgotten hole that had steel claws? 
>> Organisms can utilize inorganic minerals, sure. Salt would be a better 
>> example as we can actually eat it in its pure form and we actually need to 
>> eat it. But that's completely different than a living cell made of salt and 
>> iron that eats sand. The problem is that the theory that there is no reason 
>> why this might not be possible doesn't seem to correspond to the reality 
>> that all we have ever seen is a very narrow category of basic biologically 
>> active substances. It's not that I have a theory that there couldn't be 
>> inorganic life, it is just that the universe seems very heavily invested in 
>> the appearance that such a thing is not merely unlikely or impossible, but 
>> that it is the antithesis of life. 
> Craig, you have judged the whole universe (and all the possibilities it 
> entails) based on a sample size of one (life on earth).

Since there is no other example of life anywhere in the universe that we 
have come across, we cannot assume one way or another whether Earth is 
representative of all possibilities of life or not. Certainly on Earth, the 
biosphere is teeming with life while the other layers which lack the 
particular biological precursors are utterly sterile. Jules Verne 
notwithstanding, the deep layers of the Earth do not seem to be hosting any 
forms of sentient cyber species that we can relate to as having biological 
quality presentations. We have seen nothing on Mars or the Moon to suggest 
anything more hopeful. We should not arbitrarily rule out the idea that 
life is the way it is on Earth for a good reason, and we should not presume 
to have confidence in replacing biological experience with cybernetic 
agents without knowing precisely what that reason is.

> You might appreciate this short story:
> http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/TheyMade.shtml

Yes, I like that. There is actually a TV dramatization of it that Stephen 
linked me to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaFZTAOb7IE.


> Jason

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