Experiments are underway aimed at creating “non-organic organisms” from metal compounds. Cell-like entities have already been successfully manufactured from molecules with metallic content (polyoxometalates). Work is currently going on on endowing these organisms with the property of a capacity for self-replication.
Where the implications of these experiments are taken fully into account we need to include in any moral calculation the possibility that there might not only be organic, carbon-based extra-terrestrial organisms (ETO) but far more organisms than there has hitherto generally been assumed to be. The basis for transitions, on other worlds and planets, from functioning organisms to living beings capable of experiencing both joy and suffering would be much broader than it could possibly have been if the only organisms coming into account in this regard were carbon-based ones