posted on Dec, 22 2007 @ 01:58 AM
I don't think there are any known silicon based proteins, so that would already be problematic for body processes. Without proteins, there can be no
thought, reproduction, respiration, photosynthesis, etc. Silicon is a metalloid, which would mean it lacks the chemical properties that are
considered necessary to form life. Silicon also has 8 more electrons than Carbon, and it forms very unstable complex compounds, and there are no
known spontaneous syntheses of the required compounds for silicon life in nature. Furthermore, there are very few known compounds made of silicon,
DNA, RNA, and biodiversity would be likely impossible. Membranes built on silicon modules cannot experience the transfer of protons or electrons
across the membrane, known as proton-motive force, a basic need for life. If the supposed silicon life needed to consume oxygen, the resulting
oxidization of the silicon modules would create silicon dioxide, or quartz, something pretty tough to exhale. Silicon based life would also have to
consume other silicon based life to survive, and unless the life form were close to 100 percent thermodynamically efficient, passage of the
transformed crystals would be very difficult.
I honestly cannot see a silicon based life form being able to exist. As a matter of fact, since carbon is the only element that can form the chains
and rings that form the basis for organic compounds that can self replicate at some level of complexity, I really believe that any life form must be
based on carbon. Unless of course out there in the vast universe there are elements that have yet to be discovered, or elements that are manufactured
by an unknown process that could be a basis for life.