Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Alien life: how would we know?

  • Margaret A. Boden (a1)
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.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All
This paper is adapted from Boden, M.A. (1999). Is metabolism necessary? Brit. J. Phil. Sci. 50, 231–248.
Footnotes
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Journal of Astrobiology
  • ISSN: 1473-5504
  • EISSN: 1475-3006
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-astrobiology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 8 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 140 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.