I have heard of some rumors going around about a living organism based on non-carbon. Is Has research been done with real form of life based on non-carbon? Or carbon-based life is only type of life what humans know of?

Carbon chauvinism

  • $\begingroup$ See thewestheimerinstitute.org/pubs/… $\endgroup$
    – gavenkoa
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ See biology.stackexchange.com/questions/3652/… $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 0:29
  • $\begingroup$ I think the question can be phrased better than "rumors going around" - I don't think "rumor mill" is quite in line with this site's vision. Can you be more specific about who is the source of these claims, and what exactly they said? Otherwise, the question is unanswerable. $\endgroup$
    – Superbest
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 1:10

1 Answer 1


In a word, no. There are some good chemical reasons to expect all life to be carbon-based. Of course, it is no longer a silly fantasy to imagine an artificial intelligence that might qualify as life. (Still FAAAARRRR in the future, though, if ever.)

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. Is there any proof of unpossibility of existence the non-carbon life, e.g. phosphorus-based or boron-based? Or this is hypothesis, similar to those where talked "The Earth based on 3 elephants, 3 elephants based on turtle, etc..." $\endgroup$
    – perpetuity
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 8:43
  • $\begingroup$ @perpetuity You have asked a very concrete question about findings so far, but your comment is about possible future findings. I think you should ask that as a separate question. $\endgroup$
    – Superbest
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 1:14
  • $\begingroup$ Carbon is much more abundant than silicon or phosphorus, while being more reactive at room temp and forms gases and liquids at cooler temperatures than silicon compounds. A silicon based organism would probably only be possible on a really hot planet where the silicates are more reactive and more flexible, but still unlikely. I don't know what solvents would be acceptable at those temperatures and the silicon equivalent to CO2 is SiO2, which is solid, not a gas, so probably shouldn't expect an oxygen based metabolism. $\endgroup$
    – user137
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 7:38

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