X-Message-Number: 26009
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 14:24:21 EDT
Subject: Re: CryoNet #25999 To T. Donaldson

Dans un e-mail dat  du 12/04/05 11:00:16 Paris, Madrid (heure d' t ), 
 a  crit :

I think I see better what you means by "artificial life". There has been a 
number of ideas of that kind, for example, because life is mostly about 

macromolecules surface effects and conformational change, there was the idea to 
use 3D 
pictures with electrochemical textures to simulate some big molecular 
complexes. Adding Molecular Dynamics for chemical reaction, there would be the 
possibility to build an artificial life.

This could be tested on some molecules today, but making macroscopic life and 
a full world this way would request a very advanced quantum computer or 
something with equal power. May be in four or five centuries there will be 
something as that, but there is no point to speculate about it with current 

You may push the dream beyond that if you want: because quantum mechanics is 
the ultimate reality, a quantum computer "simulation" is not quite a 

simulation, it is a coded form of the reality. If you have a decoder, may be 

quantum computer, and the capability to teleport a quantum state, you coud build
a "door" between the "real" and the "simulated" world and back.

This is in principle a theoretical possibility, don't ask me how such a 

system would work! This could be good today for a sci-fi story, nothing more. 

could even recast such stories as Star Trek in this frame. If the world of S.T.
was such a simulation, it could indeed include many Earth-like worlds and way 
to beam people from place to place or move a space-ship at superluminal 

speed, this would no more contradict basic physics that the Will Coyote's 

> Claus Emmeche, trans. S. Sampson, Princeton U. Press, Princeton, NJ, 1994 
> This book tells about the idea of artificial life and just what it may mean.
> What is artificial life? It's basically life implemented inside one or 
> several
> (parallel)
> computers. I personally have doubts about just how useful such a broad
> definition of life may be; the critical point about life is that it acts in 
> the
> real world, not a simulated world. It's not even that I doubt the 
> possibility of
> computer life forms: a computer virus is a primitive life form living in 
> computers. Regardless, Emmeche defines "life" so broadly that simulated life
> "living" in a simulated world counts in his mind as life. The problems 
> raised by
> the simulated worlds aren't trivial at all: if we wish to draw conclusions 
> about
> the actual behavior and evolution of life forms, having them only live in a
> simulated world omits almost all factors bearing on behavior and evolution 
> of a
> real life form.

Yvan Bozzonetti.

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