Is a Virus a Living Creature?
R. Philip Bouchard

Viruses as Self-Replicating Automata?

Decades ago John Von Neumann developed the concept of self-replicating automata as a likely evolution product of an advanced technological civilization. Once created and released into the cosmos, the S-RAs were expected to become ubiquitous. The idea got quite popular for a while as people wondered why the observable cosmos showed no evidence for such robotic devices.

Perhaps nature was way ahead of the game.