Alien life: how would we know?

Boden, Maggie (2003) Alien life: how would we know? International Journal of Astrobiology, 2 (2). pp. 121-129. ISSN 14735504

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Abstract

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
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Maggie Boden
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:15
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2012 15:51
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25025
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