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Computer-Generated Life

Eric Olson
Artificial Life 3: 29-39, 1997

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Dr. Frankenstein, in Mary Shelley's novel, created a living human being in his laboratory. Impressive though this accomplishment may have been, though, Frankenstein's monster was made from materials that were already living, or nearly so, before they came into his hands. His "creation" of life was little more than an elaborate bit of surgery and resuscitation. It would be of greater philosophical interest if someone could create a living organism out of non-biological materials - out of simple organic molecules of the sort that were present on the young earth, for example, or out of wholly inorganic chemicals, or even out of nuts and bolts and wires. This would truly be a case of artificial life

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