[ExI] simulation as an improvement over reality
eugen at leitl.org
Mon Dec 27 11:02:37 UTC 2010
On Sun, Dec 26, 2010 at 07:34:35PM -0600, Max More wrote:
> I like to use a neologism like "vitology" for the study of
> life-in-general, while reserving "biology" for the more or less familiar
> chemical forms of life. Postbiological life forms would indeed be living
> complex systems, but I wouldn't call them biological if they were based
> on entirely distinct physical platforms.
If you recall Artifical Life (later shortened to ALife), then there is
at least one precedent.
> Looking at terminology, "biology" is the study of living organisms, but
> it has always been about the living organisms that we've been familiar
Not that Wikipedia is normative in any way, but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life
Life (cf. biota) is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that
have signaling and self-sustaining processes (biology) from those
that do not, either because such functions have ceased (death),
or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate.
In biology, the science of living organisms, life is the condition
which distinguishes active organisms from inorganic matter.
Living organisms undergo metabolism, maintain homeostasis, possess
a capacity to grow, respond to stimuli, reproduce and, through natural
selection, adapt to their environment in successive generations.
More complex living organisms can communicate through various
means. A diverse array of living organisms (life forms)
can be found in the biosphere on Earth, and the properties common
to these organisms—plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea,
and bacteria—are a carbon- and water-based cellular form with
complex organization and heritable genetic information.
So the "biology" and "biota" parts are covered. "Post" denotes
a succession, such as current life to prebiotic life, which is
now extinct, at least on this planet.
This *is* life, but not as we know it.
> with up to now. It's not a crucial matter, but my preference is to
> reserve "biology" for the wide range of life forms we're already come
> across, but not stretch it to cover entirely different substrates and
Well, there's also astrobiology.
We would also have to remove evolution from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_algorithm
and genetic from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_algorithm
and probably neologize neural networks, too, and such.
Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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