It's interesting how quickly the grey-gooers can write off natural life, as if we would be able to invent stuff which could get out of control and kill it all off overnight. Biological life is pretty hardy - how long would it be before bacteria or insects or something developed which could feed on the alleged goo? After all, it would probably be made out of similar stuff to natural life, given that it lives in the same environment and has the same resources available.
How quickly would natural life develop, which could outcompete the hard-life, and to whose presence the hard-life could not adapt? This is especially likely if the hard life was some heavily tuned soft-life eater, because it would have to be so specific that it would have trouble adapting to new environments.
>From: Lyle Burkhead[SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>2. The very idea of "nonbiological, free-living replicators" is absurd.
>It is possible to have replicators that use different materials and have
>different sources of energy than natural cells, but any free-living
>organism that replicates will be "biological" in a general sense.
>Hard life, like natural life, will be constrained by time, space, and
>energy; there will still be such a thing as bioenergetics. Each species
>will have its own niche. There will still be predators and prey, and there
>will still be an ongoing arms race between predators and prey, as described
>by Dawkins. There will still be symbiotic relationships and parasitic
>relationships between species. In other words the general form of biology
>will remain the same. The essential difference will be that organisms will
>be able to change themselves, like corporations do, instead of depending on
>the blind process of natural selection.