I think this is a moronic idea. Silicon based life hmm? Well diatoms are somewhat the closest thing I can think of to such a life form. Other than
that, we have "silicon" based life on earth, it grows, it reproduces when there is an abundance of resources, it is called Quartz
I mean seriously, do the people that think up these theories ever bother to think of how these life forms would live?
I mean...sure the rocks will be relatively high in silicon, I believe it is nearly the same as Earth though I can't remember the figure.
But that is all in the form of Silica, which is SiO3, SiO8, Si2O8 and so forth, and is bonded rather well to other things. Potassium, Alluminum,
Calcium, Sodium, ferromagnesium and so on.
So where will the little life form get its Silicon? It doesn't just have a puddle of it. It has to break it down from rocks, which means energy.
Which means chemicals because it doesn't have an atom smasher. So with that understanding, where is it going to get its energy?
1) Geothermal (martian-thermal in this case haha).
2) Solar (photosynthesis)
3) Combustion (aerobic).
Since there is no oxygen, #3 is out.
Since there is no thermal energy from the planet #1 is out.
And unless they discovered a new way to generate energy from the sun, since there is no photosynthesis going on (no green stuff) #2 is out.
So there is no way to produce energy to break down silicon to make a silicon life form.
So there goes the idea of such a life form.
Now why won't silicon produce glass-like structures?
Glass is produced by RAPID cooling, very rapid, so rapid that Silicon can not crystalize.
There is probably volcanic glass, but it is very old.
But anyway, if you found a glass-like structure on Mars, it does not mean a life form, because silicon is not "glassy" unless heated into a melt,
and cooled extremely rapidly. Otherwise it will form crystals of varying sizes.
In summary, I believe the idea is crack-pot, and put forth by people whose lack of knowledge of Geology is only surpassed by the same in