Life on Earth is not possible without carbon. Around 4 billion years ago, it was one of the most abundant chemical elements (others being oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen) when there was still no life. In times, carbon-based organic compounds were form
Life on Earth is not possible without carbon. Around 4 billion years ago, it was one of the most abundant chemical elements (others being oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen) when there was still no life. In times, carbon-based organic compounds were formed followed by its complex molecules that were the basis of the living cell. Today, all life forms are made of cells, billions of them; each performing a specialized function that is vital for the life forms' survival on Earth. The proliferation of the intelligent machine is not possible without silicon. It is what sands are made of and has a unique property that allows the flow of the electrons to be easily controlled. Seizing on this feature, the human mind is able to create lighting fast machines that sort, store, and transfer information that is needed to fuel the advancing civilization. As the tasks are getting bigger, the machines become ever more complex and automated. Since intelligence and consciousness are the result of complex automation, it is just a matter of time that these machines that humans built will acquire the same capabilities that the human mind possesses.
Carbon is one of the 112 chemical elements that make up the Earth. Every in-animated or animated object consists of one or a combination of those elements. Carbon has always been one of the most abundant elements found on Earth. Its ability to combine with other elements to form compounds as well as complex molecules made carbon the basis of life on the once barren land. Around 3.5 billion years ago, fueled by the energy from the Sun, a carbon-based molecule called the nucleic acid was formed in an ocean filled with other chemical elements essential for life. This primitive nucleic acid possessed the property to replicate, change, and pass on the change that was the basic requirements to start the life process. From then on, there came the living cells, the oxygen producing algae and plants, the oxygen consuming fish, reptiles, mammals, and eventually human beings. All these living things are made of living cells. Inside the living cell are the DNAs. The DNA is made of the nucleic acids. The nucleic acid is hold together by the carbon. The human being is at the last stage of the evolutionary development of the life process that was started 3.5 billion years ago. This process is completed with the human's capability to understand how and when did life start and what life is all about. This crowning achievement is primarily due to the formation of a complex automated neural network inside the human's brain.
The humans with their awareness, curiosity, creativity, and tool-making ability became the only living thing on Earth no longer at the mercy of the unpredictable and harsh environment. In times, the humans learned to use the raw materials found in the environment to build machines to cultivate the land for food, to excavate the mountain for natural resources, to explore the universe for its origin, and to control their ever expanding local and global commerce. With the discovery of the chemical element, silicon, the machine can now be built with more complexity, in smaller size, and faster speed. Silicon is almost everywhere. It is what ordinary sand is made of. However, special processes are needed to:
1) isolate it from the sand,
2) combine them into useful crystalline chip,
3) design and etch electronic circuits onto the silicon chip,
4) package the finished product to be used in the machine.
The early popular silicon-based machines were digital watch, video game, calculator, and Apple II, etc. They were also used to connect the banking systems in an electronic network for reliable fund transfer and management. As the silicon manufacturing technology and the circuit design process are maturing, the calculator is evolved into the cell phone, Apple II is evolved into the iPad, and the whole world is interconnected by a fault tolerant network (Internet) that allows anyone with a cheap PC to do banking, shopping, researching, and emailing in the comfort of the home. The 24/7 Internet is controlled by the sophisticated and automated silicon-based machine that can correct soft errors, bypass and report hard faults and power outages, store and guard information for authorized access, record and trace information transfer, etc. To fuel the human's expanding population and civilization, the Internet will be designed to:
1) generate the necessary power as needed,
2) repair failures and ensure reliable operation 24/7,
3) anticipate changes, add functions, and increase capacities as needed,
The resulting complex automation will be a thinking and living machine that will outlast its creators.