Von Neumann Machines as the Designer's Hand

One possibility method an Intelligent Designer could use is to build sppacecraft capable of self-replication and send them out to spread life throughout the Galaxy. This idea does not get much consideration, but it is well within the realm of “hard” scince fiction. See the Wiki article, and I will and some furter thoughts tomorrow.


A variant theme is shooting out many, many, many tiny self replicators. What is clear is that sending organic life like humans in frozen form or on ‘generation ships’ is not really viable or efficient.


Very true. Even if generation ships were practical, there is reason to think that a human society would collapse before such a ship could reach it’s destination. For a LONG discussion of related problems, see the Atomic Rockets website.

IMO, the only practical approach is to seed biochemical factories to engineer life on the spot.

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It is hard to imagine self replicating machines. Do you think that is a real possibility?

We don’t have to imagine self-replicating biology. Self replicating machines seem like an inevitable development. IIRC we already have 3D printers that can largely reproduce themselves.

There is an element of science fiction to this subject, but it’s “hard” speculation about what can feasibly be achieved.

One argument against this, is the fact that we haven’t already encountered VN machines sent by other intelligence. OR maybe we have, and they seeded life here, and are just waiting for us to grow up. If such an intelligence wanted to be detected, it could easily reveal itself. It’s speculation, but interesting to consider.

Note: the Atomic Rockets website I linked above is created and maintained by Winchell Chung as a resource for science fiction authors, and contains a lot of good speculations based on real science. It’s well worth browsing around if you have some time to spare.