Define the term "life"

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by crazylenny, Aug 3, 2003.

  1. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I do and I think your definition is lacking, if you have a problem with that then show me otherwise.
     
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  3. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    you can't force rigid people to think outside their tiny world. Either you have seen the point I have been trying to make or you haven't. There is no point in repeating it over and over. Some other people got it and thought about it, filled in the gaps themselves, corrected it according to their views etc.

    Apparently you are one of these people that doesn't get it. It is not my problem. Read it again and think again. If you are really a student you should be able to do some independent thinking. I do not have to chew everything out for you.
     
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  5. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I did and it seem very vague to me you only define life as biological entity that evolve under Darwinian principles. I mention that self-replicating DNA falls under this and you responded that that’s out of out of its proper context, well then what is proper context, it seem it be in context to me and you still refuse to explain this to me.
     
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  7. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    what self-replicating DNA? Is there something like that?
     
  8. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    in a PCR machine there is.
     
  9. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    you push the button. it is not self replicating.
     
  10. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    so it replicating, you never specified self replicating, even so the by your definition the DNA of the cell is the only living part.
     
  11. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    you said self-replicating.
     
  12. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I am not he embodiment of your definition now am I?
     
  13. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    i don't know what you want. You are an ass-twister.
     
  14. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I wonder if you call colleagues that criticize your work that?
     
  15. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    No, i call those people idiots...
     
  16. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Wow then I advice you don't publish any more research.
     
  17. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    why?

    edit: no fuck why, let us get back on the topic.


    People what do you think about the definition of life?
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2003
  18. KitNyx Registered Senior Member

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    342
    Life? Any system that consciously or unconsciously acts to continue it's own existance and/or the existance of it's like.

    I can think of extreme circumstances in which my definition does not work, but every one includes higher consciousness and either an act of self sacrifice or stupidity.

    - KitNyx
     
  19. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    What about computer programs which perform that function? Algorithms like "life" satisfy your definition. Would you call it "alive" then? I wouldn't call a non-conscious algorithm "alive".
     
  20. KitNyx Registered Senior Member

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    342
    Yes, I think that a computer program that meets my criteria are at least as alive as viruses. I know that many on this board do not believe viruses should be categorized as life, and that may be. Perhaps all they are in carbon nanomachines, attempting to fulfill thier singleminded drive to reproduce. However, many insects do little more than the same and no one questions whether they are alive (of course the same can be said of most men).

    I purposely came up with a definition that would include some computer programs.

    - KitNyx
     
  21. Agent Smith Registered Senior Member

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    103
    By the definition of life, Mules are not alive. A mule is a cross between a horse and donkey. They are sterile. Theirf ore they cannot reproduce.
    In science, we learned today the 5 necesarry guidlines of life.
    Cellular organization
    Metabolism
    reproduction
    Homeostasis
    Heredity

    I was about to ask act like a smart aleck inclas and give the instructor a hard time...but then peole would call me a nerd. Btw im in the IB program so yea...its really really hard.
     
  22. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

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    an evolutionary biologist's perspective

    this is a perfect example of how a simple biological question, 'what is life?' can devolve into an argument about semantics.

    depending on how one defines 'life,' one can include or exclude any life form. it's all bullshit.

    we probably can agree what is life to the level of bacteria.

    the question remains 'are viruses alive?'

    this question is not solved by taking a survey of biologist's opinions. it's not a popularity contest.

    what it does is raise the question of whether or not we have an adequate definition of life. it appears that we do not.

    since viruses evolve, reproduce, and (at least potentially) have enzymatic catalysis, does this not make them alive?

    ask yourself the question, if viruses have evolved into the super-parasites that they are from some single-celled organisms (like a bacterium), would you still consider them non-life (given the same characteristics that they have now)? if so, one must ask the question whether life forms can 'evolve' into non-life forms.
     
  23. dinokg Registered Senior Member

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    What about strange life.

    Like silicon based lifeforms or artificial life forms.

    If a android is made with the inteligence of a person but is a machine then is it alive?

    The true definition of life needs two include these as well.
     

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