The real question is, why should it be? Why not germanium? Or tin based life?
Carbon is a very common element in the universe. It's a small element, so it doesn't interfere as much, due to its size, with bond geometry. There are many other characteristics which make carbon the idea element for increasing chemical diversity, and ultimately, evolution is about finding what works and killing off what doesn't. Silicon based life is the biological equivalent of thermodynamic unfavorablility. It can happen given certain conditions, but it doesn't naturally want to happen.
>>7776148 I was confused by your image, i saw it somewhere but couldn't remember where. It was actually at the very end of that russian trailer video for a homotopy theory course. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlh6knaaVYY
>>7776153 The only thing carbon and silicon have in common is 4 valence electrons. Silicon is a larger atom, has more shells, and thus has different shielding properties. Not to mention the abundance of the element itself in the universe as other posters have mentioned.
It may be ok for some replacements of carbon, but to replace carbon in complex biological systems? No, they are already too delicate as it is.
Possible - maybe in a liquid nitrogen-based environment (like that of Triton), but not very likely as silicon is highly reactive and has a low bond strength. For more information, check out: Bains, W.; Many chemistries could be used to build living systems. Astrobiology. 2004, 4, 137-167.
>>7776148 purely hypothetically by looking at the periodic table, yes practically, carbon is way better for life in hundreds of aspects and worse in none of the aspects I could think of
for example carbon is several times more abundant than silicon silicon is heavier than carbon, which means molecules are also heavier and less mobile silanes are more kinetically labile than alkanes, which means shorter chains and less stable molecules there are almost none long hydrosilicon chains that are prerequisite for membranes and therefore cells and life silanes are insoluble in water, which is prerequisite for metabolism (and I could give you another hundred reasons why water is the best medium for life) SiO2 is solid and insoluble in everything but concentrated hydroxides at high pressure and hydrofluoric acid and thus biologically almost unavailable, while CO2 is gas easily soluble in water
you could have carbon life that uses silicon in it's molecules a lot more than Terrestrial life, but pure silicon life is impossible
>>7776251 >carbon is several times more abundant than silicon ?? the fuck did you pull that from ?? silicon is like literally 1000 times more abundant than carbon in earth's crust alone and we're still carbon-based
>>7776299 ?? that only proved my point I don't get how you think you can use carbon's abundance in the universe to prove your point when the only valid sample size we have is the earth at the moment and silicon is about 1000x more abundant than carbon here
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