When referring to the process of building a manufacturing plant, he said, “The extreme difficulty of scaling production of new technology is not well understood. It’s 1000% to 10,000% harder than making a few prototypes. The machine that makes the machine is vastly harder than the machine itself.” — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 22, 2020
Indeed, whatever the difficulty of creating life in the lab, making individual prototypes is not nearly as problematic as making “the machine that makes the machine,” which all reproducing living cells can do. That is, the ability of an organism to reproduce is at least an order of magnitude harder that the ability of an organism to just live.Jonathan Bartlett, “Elon Musk Tweet Shows Why Many Doubt Origin of Life Studies” at Mind Matters News
He goes on to explain that the reason that creating a machine that manufactures or a cell that reproduces is much harder than creating a prototype of either is because it is a search for a search and “successful searches for searches are exponentially less likely to be productive than a search itself.”
Note: The Search for a Search: Measuring the Information Cost of Higher Level Search, William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics, Vol.14 No.5, 2010 is open access.
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