Re: silicon life?

From: David F Siemens (
Date: Mon Nov 27 2000 - 12:36:17 EST

  • Next message: george murphy: "Re: silicon life?"

    On Sun, 26 Nov 2000 22:04:26 -0500 george murphy <>
    > Someone at church today asked me (apropos a discussion of
    > anthropic principles) about something he had seen on TV (no
    > explicit
    > reference) about tubular structures which had been found at thermal
    > vents in the Atlantic & which were supposed to be evidence of
    > silicon
    > based life. I don't think that Si-based life has been found (!)
    > but
    > have some vague recollection of a news item which might have given
    > rise
    > to this report. Can anyone remember such a thing more clearly?
    > Shalom,
    > George
    If my memory serves, several decades back there was speculation that life
    somewhere in the universe could be based on Si rather than C, since both
    have 4 electrons in the outer shell. However, more recently I read that
    the size and electro-activity of Si made it impossible to have the
    complex forms necessary to life. C forms rings with 3 or more members,
    sometimes including N, O or other atoms, as well as larger complexes like
    the porphyrins.


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