Alien life: how would we know?

Boden, Margaret (2003) Alien life: how would we know? International Journal of Astrobiology, 2. pp. 121-129. ISSN 1473-5504

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To recognize alien life, we would have to be clear about the defining criteria of ‘life’. Metabolism – in other words, biochemical fine-tuning – is one of these criteria. Three senses of metabolism are distinguished. The weakest allows strong artificial life (A-life): virtual creatures having physical existence in computer electronics, but not bodies, are classed as ‘alive’. The second excludes strong A-life but allows that some non-biochemical A-life robots could be classed as alive. The third, which stresses the body's self-production by energy budgeting and self-equilibrating energy exchanges of some (necessary) complexity, excludes both strong A-life and living non-biochemical robots.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: autopoiesis; life; A-life; artificial life; metabolism; self-organization
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA0075 Electronic computers. Computer science
Depositing User: Chris Keene
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2007
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 16:51
Google Scholar:2 Citations
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