> First, there is no reason to believe that we can built robots that can reproduce themselves.
What? This is exactly the technology humans are trying to reach! We're already a significant way down this path!!
> Second, there is no evidence that we or anyone else can build intelligent machines, as the original story seems to presuppose.
Nature did it. We can do it.
> Third, biological organisms are so many orders of magnitude more efficient and flexible than machines that it barely makes sense to put them into the same qualitative category "form of life".
This whole conversation is about extrapolating on the cosmic scale. If you look at the path robotics has taken in the last century it does, as pointed out, actually support the premise of this article.
> Hint: A human consumes only about 2.9 kilowatt hours per day, the equivalent of 1-2 light bulbs
Not relevant. Once machines are replicating and repairing themselves they'll do exactly what we do and find other sources of energy.
Frankly I agree with you that it's hard to picture Transformers inhabiting the universe, but OP did make a really good point that extrapolation isn't even in the ballpark of refuting this clown. Honestly I'm shocked he didn't come back with that XKCD cartoon.