Re: Smalley-Drexler debate

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Mon Dec 01 2003 - 15:35:48 MST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Perry E.Metzger" <>
Sent: Monday, December 01, 2003 3:53 PM

> The "chemical replicators" are mechanical. Peptide synthesis in
> ribosomes is mechanosynthetic....
> The problem, I think, is a continuing belief in vitalism, although I'm
> sure Smalley would stringently deny that.

My sense is that Smalley's response might be that each of these enzymatic
syntheses is a one-off, a specially designed (`designed') gadget that
functions in a specific co-evolved ambient. That might not readily
generalize to a universal assembler, or even to multi-purpose nanoscale
tools. Not vitalism: complexity and deep history.

Homoeoboxen might serve as a counter instance, of course.

Damien Broderick

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