ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview
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ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview

Otangelo Grasso: This is my library, where I collect information and present arguments developed by myself that lead, in my view, to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation for the origin of the physical world.

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Could silicon be the basis for alien life forms, just as carbon is on Earth?

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Could silicon be the basis for alien life forms, just as carbon is on Earth?


But when carbon oxidizes--or unites with oxygen say, during burning--it becomes the gas carbon dioxide; silicon oxidizes to the solid silicon dioxide, called silica. The fact that silicon oxidizes to a solid is one basic reason as to why it cannot support life. Silicon doesn't form many compounds having handedness. Thus, it would be difficult for a silicon-based life-form to achieve all of the wonderful regulating and recognition functions that carbon-based enzymes perform for us. Despite years of work--and despite all the reagents available to the modern alchemist--many silicon analogs of carbon compounds just cannot be formed. Thermodynamic data confirm these analogs are often too unstable or too reactive.

Lee Strobel: the case of a creator page 108
Can life only arise from carbon based molecules ? 
"That just won't work," he insisted. "Chemistry is one of the better understood areas of science. We know that you just can't get certain atoms to stick together in sufficient number and complexity to give you large molecules like carbon can. You can't get around it. And you just can't get other types of liquids to dissolve as many different kinds of chemicals as you can with water. There's something like half a dozen different properties of both water and carbon that are optimal for life. Nothing else comes close. Silicon falls far short of carbon. Still, we cannot rule out other forms of matter than molecules in the universe as building blocks of complex systems. While atomic nuclei, for example, do not exhibit the diversity and complexity seen in the way atoms assemble into molecular structures, perhaps they might be able to do so in a universe with different properties and laws. That is pure speculation without scientific base. Only silicon and boron, besides carbon, can serve as the basis for adequately complex molecules—molecules capable of sustaining basic life functions, such as self-replication, metabolism, and information storage. This finding presents some significant problems, however. First, silicon can hold together a string of no more than a hundred amino acids—far too short a string to accommodate any conceivable life systems and processes. Second, throughout the universe boron is less abundant than carbon; so carbon always supersedes it. Third, concentrated boron is toxic to certain life-critical reactions. Given the vastness of the universe and the common observation of supernovae in other galaxies, we have no reason to assume life exists only on Earth.


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