Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Alternative Life Forms, 21 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Weird Life: The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own (Hardcover)
In this intriguing book David Toomey looks at some forms of alien (non-carbon based) life that the reader may have imagined and plenty that go far beyond.

He doesn't spend much time on machine intelligence but does devote a section to Seth Shostak and his assumption that, " Most technological civilizations created by biological beings will reach a point in their history at which they will cede their power to artificial beings."and, "We might add that there is every reason to expect that beings with a weird biology - say beings with a biochemistry based on silicon or ammonia (as long as they had an aptitude for technology) - would do the same."

Also intelligent machines are seen as capable of a highly accelerated Lamarkian self-directed type evolution that takes them far beyond humanity.

Would they care about human beings? We don't know.

The author also refers to the Australian physicist Brandon Carter, who drew attention in the late 1970's to the criticality of the exact laws of physics for complex chemistry and consequent biology (and us). Carter saw our universe with its particular laws as one among many, whereas astrophysicist Fred Hoyle took a different line and suggested that a very advanced intelligence had "set the dials" on our universe to permit the development of life (i.e. we are part of some kind of computer game Matrix).

Altogether an interesting book.
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Location: Spain

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