Monday, June 6, 2011

Thinking In Recipes

From Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz:
I'll claim that there's a recipe out there that you could use to just assemble carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms, and that if you just use the right  recipe to put them together, it will make a factory that will be smaller than a car, that will be mobile, that will seek out  some renewable input, that will convert [the input] into some chemical that humans want, that will be self-healing whenever  it gets injured, that will maintain sterile conditions, and that will even make a replica of itself when one generation breaks down. So the question is, could you really put something together out of carbon and hydrogen and oxygen and  atoms that would be that sophisticated?

If you describe that just in the abstract, many people will think it's not possible. But then you point out to them that it already exists in the form of a dairy cow.

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