Wednesday, October 30, 2019

"Silicon-Based Alien Life"

The “What-If” and “Curiosity Stream” channel posit “What If Life Was Silicon-Based?

The video (5 min) suggests this may exist specifically on Titan, but then it says it would need to be deep within a planet’s crust where it is hot enough, so that could be any planet.

Silicon, it says, can form long polymers.  But oxygen converts it to rock (unlike the chemically similar carbon, its oxide is solid – sand).  More apt is that silicon, in our minds, is connected to robotics and artificial intelligence, which theoretically might house consciousness, which is more than just “autonomy” but means choosing one’s own goals (the “unbalanced personality” issue). Remember HAL (== IBM) in “2001: A Space Odyssey”?, Oct. 4, 2009)

My science fair project in 1960, for which I gave a talk in my own basement in my Science Honor Society Initiation on Dec. 9, 1960, was about silicon-based life. I had tried some sort of experiment replacing carbon with silicon and it had something to do with acetylene.

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