Organic technology

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An organic Shadow warship

Organic technology is a science fiction concept that became increasingly popular in the 1990's and later. In general, it describes technological devices that are actually living creatures bred and grown to perform specific functions.


Organic technology is often portrayed as more powerful and advanced than "conventional" technology built for the same purpose, although there is no legitimate reason that organic technology would be superior to inorganic technology.

By its very nature, living material will need to be permeable in order to obtain necessary nutrients and energy to sustain itself. This means that an organic ship's hull, for instance, will include conduits of some kind to deliver nutrients and energy, decreasing its overall strength. An inorganic ship's hull, on the other hand, can be solid metal.

Furthermore, inorganic materials like iron tend to be more durable than organic materials. The strongest known organic materials, like wood and bone, aren't nearly as tough as structural steel.

On the plus side, the organic machines would require less infrastructure to build. Energy and materials would still be needed, but specialized manufacturing equipment would be unnecessary, the machine takes care of its own growth into its final form.

There may, in fact, be particular applications for which organic technology is preferable, but the idea that organic technology can be better than inorganic technology at everything is preposterous.