Has anybody ever managed to simulate even the simplest form of life by merely simulating the interactions of the molecules of the organisms body? What would be the theoretical minimum number of molecules to build such a numerical simulation?

  • $\begingroup$ You would first need to agree on what's life. What is the minimum process which can be called life? For some basic reproduction and survival definition there already is conway's game of life. But I think this is below the complexity of your definition of life. And many complex systems are much above the minimum needed process. $\endgroup$ – allo Sep 14 '17 at 15:04
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    $\begingroup$ Is it required to know something exactly to simulate it? Do we really understand turbulence? Or even a vortex? We don't have universal definition for them. But we have mathematical models to simulate them. $\endgroup$ – BalazsToth Sep 14 '17 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ You do not need to know it exactly, but you need to come up with a definition, what you consider life to know if you can simulate it. If you understand what your actual simulation does is another thing, but when you want to know if it can be simulated, you need to define "it" in a way that we know what is the requirement for a simulation, where the answer to your question is "yes". $\endgroup$ – allo Sep 15 '17 at 9:04

The answer as of 2017, to the best of my knowledge, is "not yet." Your question is treated in detail here and in the references therein.

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