One kind of alien concept I want to explore in my sci-fi is Jean Schneider’s hypothesis about a non-chemical crystal biology. According to Schneider, the organism’s primitive ’central memory’ is based on dislocations (molecular defects in the crystals otherwise regular structure). These ”dislocation loops” can react and interlock and are capable of being diffused into the surrounding medium in coherent form. Since solid crystals don’t move, Schneider suggests that liquid crystals (which flow like a liquid but have atoms arranged in a crystal-like way) would be a more likely candidate for life. I imagine this organism being made of minerals, living on a planet.

What I would like like to know is how complex such creatures could possibly be. Could they have macroscopic bodies similar to ours?

  • $\begingroup$ Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking. $\endgroup$
    – Community Bot
    Feb 2 at 15:04
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    $\begingroup$ Reproducing patterns within the degenerate matter of a neutron star and the sort of variety of possibilities on a planet are radically different propositions. Can you narrow to a single specific question. You can always ask more questions in their own threads, linking in a series if you wish. $\endgroup$ Feb 2 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ @AngryMuppet When I started playing with this concept, I wanted something made out of atoms, living on a planet. $\endgroup$ Feb 2 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ Given the variability of chemical based life, what makes you think that there wouldn't be any less variability with any other lifeform? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Feb 2 at 20:13
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    $\begingroup$ It's your world, not Schneider's. You can choose to agree or disagree with him on any point. Ultimately you are the only one who can decide the amount of diversity among crystal lifeforms in your world. It seems like you're just using Schneider as convincing sounding technobabble. How about instead of letting the handwaving dictate the world you build the world you want and handwave to avoid addressing any complications? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Feb 3 at 0:51


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