David F Siemens wrote:
> On Sun, 26 Nov 2000 22:04:26 -0500 george murphy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > 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.
_If_ life could be based on something other than C, Si would seem
like the most likely candidate just from its position in the periodic table.
Does anyone know the current status of attempts to synthesize large
silicon-based molecules analogous to, e.g., hydrocarbons?
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