A possible definition of life.

Bjoern Guenzel b.guenzel at ucl.ac.uk
Sun May 4 12:52:10 EST 1997


I wonder if this is still the same thread as it was when I visited the
group the last time (a few months ago)...?-)

Why do we want to know whether a Computer Program is alife or not?
I am seriously interested in answers to this question!
Personally I don't think there is any significance in a definition, the
only important question is what does the program achieve - if it is
useful or somehow interesting, who cares if it is alive or not? I think
otherwise, you can always find a definition of life that excludes
Computer Programms (or anything else that isn't biological). For example
it could be put as an requirement  that the thing consists of certain
molecules - I am not an Biologist, but I think Science today knows
enough about Cells to give an exact definition. 
So rather than discussing whether certain programms are alive or not, I
think one should rather ask what is our motivation in writing these
programs. I think 'Alive' does not exist, all there is is dead materie!

Bjoern Guenzel

-- 


In the hopes that one day other people will feel as low as this
(TMBG)




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