Artificial Intelligence and Synthetic Life

I am realizing this personal blog is more about the philosophy of science than any one or more of the sciences, and about new and alternative perspectives, rather than the “hard” or even “softer” conventional sciences. I hope any readers will forgive me, if I stick around here with this blog a while longer even though I step across the lines – I like this place so far!

The most interesting article I read last night, was this:

URL: BBC NEWS – Science/Artificial Life

For me and the other students in our school of shamanic ways, art and nature are not in contradiction, and all things, share a spark of intelligence – each in its own particular, wave-functional, unconcious or concious way. The parts of the newly re-created cell like structures, or bioreacting beings, come from all realms of life and seem to start cooperating readily. This certainly makes me wonder, what more possibilities will be dreamed to life, or existence on earth, soon!


. . . Albert Libchaber’s hope is to build up towards a minimal synthetic organism, with a designed cell wall, and a mixture of gene circuits that would let it maintain itself like a living cell.

As these constructs become more lifelike, the rest of us will have to start rethinking the nature of life.

“This is rather philosophical,” says Dr Libchaber.

“For me, life is just like a machine – a machine with a computer program. There’s no more to it than that. But not everyone shares this point of view,” he told the BBC.

He also stresses that there is no danger in the experiments. Not only are his cells artificial, they can function only in the nutrient medium he supplies them. . .

Most of us shamanic students recognize the differences among ways and realms of existing and living, and between ordinary and non-ordinary states of conciousness, and understand terms such as organic and inorganic, and so forth. We do not usually anthropomorphosize sentimentally or naively, except for the fun of it – or on purpose, to express something symbolically within the context of philosophy or spiritual practice. Yet there are those of us, especially the “urban shamanic practicers,” who experience machines as “alive,” albeit in a totally machine-like way, that would not be considered “live” by many! So, once more, I ask any readers to forgive my stepping over boundary lines! I am an old curmudgeon and a mystic, but when I read, it is almost about the sciences, because I love to wonder!

~ Crabbee

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