Emergence of behavior through software

Alik Widge aswst16+@pitt.edu
Fri, 06 Oct 2000 22:38:27 -0400

--On Friday, October 06, 2000 6:05 PM -0700 btanksley@hifn.com wrote:

> From: Alik Widge [mailto:aswst16+@pitt.edu]
>> <lmaxson@pacbell.net> wrote:
> Erm -- I'm pretty sure they were carbon based.  They 'oxidized' their food
> using sulfur rather than oxygen, though.  But I'm not disagreeing with
> you; I don't see Lynn's point yet.  It doesn't make sense to me that life
> could only be carbon-based.

You're right, now that I think closer; they have the same carbon-based 
scaffolding, and it's only the central engine that's sulfur-based. They 
were still a big shock to the bio community, IIRC.

> Where did you find the information that life on other worlds is quite
> common?  I wasn't aware that any had ever been discovered.

I said "seems", but you're right again, that's a bit of a poor way to 
phrase it. What I'm trying to get at is that many scientists believe that 
there is a near-100% probability that life exists beyond Earth, simply 
because the odds for it seem very good (see also the Drake Equation). IMHO, 
at least some of that life is going to end up being non-carbon. Now, if two 
thousand years from now we've sampled several other worlds and found only 
carbon-based life, that's going to raise some pretty big questions.