Defining Life – Putting it All Together

Human egg being fertilized

This is part of a series: Define Life

I’ve listed the most common views on exactly what life is – now I’ll try to do better. But first, I’ll list my biases:

  1. In my opinion, there are a couple of inventions that will likely be created within the next 100 years which I think should be considered life. However, most people who I’ve met disagree. These inventions are:
    • Clanking replicators
      Self-sustaining, fully automated factories made of current human technology, or something not much more advanced. Each “cell” will be easily big enough to see, and would probably come in the form of a small building or a group of robots that can collectively sustain themselves, and even reproduce.

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Correctly Defining Life

The Many Forms of Life

This is part of a series: Define Life

In this series, I want to define life precisely enough to answer this question:

  • When an inventor says that his invention is a new form of life, is he right?
    Whoever answers should be able to reasonably and conclusively explain why, or why not.

One of the most profound scientific discoveries is that biological life is made of ordinary matter, and is an extremely advanced machine.  If life really is a machine, then human engineers will eventually be able to create it themselves.  I’m not talking about merely manually building and assembling the parts of God’s creatures, I’m talking about a truly new form of life that is radically different from what God made.  I’m talking about fully artificial life, designed and built by humans.

Continue reading Correctly Defining Life