X-Message-Number: 21094
Date: Sat, 08 Feb 2003 16:38:28 +0100
From: Henri Kluytmans <>
Subject: biological organisms eating diamond

Thomas Donaldson wrote :

>As for diamond materials, there is a problem with what you say
>here too. Right now biological systems have no reason to evolve
>any means to consume diamonds. They are too rare to give much 
>benefit if consumed. (Remember that they are carbon, a basic
>material of living things). If we start making and using lots 
>of nanotech devices which use diamond, that situation will change.
>So many good sources of carbon lying about! If we can make diamond
>without expending lots of energy to do so (high pressure and high
>temperature) then biological systems will evolve able to destroy
>it --- literally eating it up --- with similar low energies.

OK, maybe biology could evolve and develop the tools to "eat" 
diamond(oid) structures eventually. However one has also to 
take into account the speed of the respective "metabolisms".

MNT produced systems will have much faster "metabolism". They 
will be able to repair and reproduce faster than biological 
systems, providing that enough energy is available. If the energy 
resource is scarce, and efficient energy usage a requirement, 
then matters get more complicated. Although I dare to wager
that even in that case artificial systems can still out-class 
biological systems.

Basically, what I'm claiming is, that for every function you 
can imagine, an artificial system can be made that will perform 
better than its biological counterpart.

Claiming otherwise accounts to biological centrism.

However, as I told before, that biological hostile organisms 
will form no threat to artificial organisms will not matter 
much in the future. Because an artificial ecology will develop, 
and one will still have to into account hostile organisms (but 
not biological ones). (Just as in the "computer-software-world" 
one has to take into account software based virusses, worms etc..)

Again, systems and organisms based on biology (i.e. DNA, proteins, 
etc..) will not be able to compete with artificial organisms 
(e.g. based on MNT).

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