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Author Topic:   What is Life?
mosassam
Junior Member (Idle past 2380 days)
Posts: 15
Joined: 02-26-2009


Message 1 of 268 (578865)
09-02-2010 10:00 PM


The dominant issue of the EvC debate concerns Life but there seems to be no consensus on what Life actually is. It would seem helpful to define what Life is - what is it?
Replies to this message:
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 Message 9 by frako, posted 09-13-2010 12:30 PM mosassam has not yet responded
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Admin
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Message 2 of 268 (578963)
09-03-2010 8:01 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the What is Life? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
barbara
Member (Idle past 2271 days)
Posts: 167
Joined: 07-19-2010


Message 3 of 268 (581061)
09-13-2010 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by mosassam
09-02-2010 10:00 PM


The definition is extinct now
The definition of life was a massive extinction event and was not able to recover to evolve a new answer.
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1.61803
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Posts: 2694
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


(1)
Message 4 of 268 (581063)
09-13-2010 10:43 AM


what is life,,,baby dont hurt me baby dont....
Life imo is a emergent property of energy.
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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 1564 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 5 of 268 (581066)
09-13-2010 11:04 AM


If all the posters on EvC were laid end to end ...
Dorothy Parker writes:

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.

TTFN,

WK


    
AZPaul3
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Posts: 3428
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


Message 6 of 268 (581069)
09-13-2010 11:34 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by mosassam
09-02-2010 10:00 PM


It would seem helpful to define what Life is - what is it?

It will be hard to find a consensus on a definition of "Life" since one does not exist.

Everyones own pet definition can be shown to harbor inconsistencies, anomalies, omissions and absurdities.

But since you asked:

Life is complex chemistry in continuous action.

Totally inadequate, but there you go.


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jar
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Posts: 29140
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 7 of 268 (581070)
09-13-2010 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by mosassam
09-02-2010 10:00 PM


I can definitely point to areas that are green, and areas that are not green, but there are also areas that are kinda green or kinda not green.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
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ringo
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From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 8 of 268 (581074)
09-13-2010 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mosassam
09-02-2010 10:00 PM


What life "is" is important to creationists because they want to claim that anything that can self-assemble from simple chemicals isn't life. It isn't very important to scientists because they're interested in both living and non-living chemicals.


Life is like a Hot Wheels car. Sometimes it goes behind the couch and you can't find it.
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frako
Member
Posts: 2701
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 9 of 268 (581076)
09-13-2010 12:30 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mosassam
09-02-2010 10:00 PM


depens on who you ask

im guessin the simplest and closest exsplenation for a sientist would be somthing is alive if it reproduces itself naturaly in some way

if you ask a creationist clay that got breathed on by god

the meaning of life though is much simpler its 42


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Dr Adequate
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(1)
Message 10 of 268 (581080)
09-13-2010 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mosassam
09-02-2010 10:00 PM


The dominant issue of the EvC debate concerns Life but there seems to be no consensus on what Life actually is.

That's because this isn't really a scientific question.

We begin with a naive idea of life where some things are definitely alive (me, a goldfish, a rosebush) and some things definitely aren't (rocks, bicycles, the Moon). When we study this matter more closely, we find that there's a number of properties common to the first set and absent from the second. "Aha," we say, "so that's what life means."

Now the problem comes when we observe or imagine something which has some of these properties but not others. Is that life?

And this, as I say, is not a scientific question --- it's a question about how we want to use language, which is a matter of social convention not to be solved by scientific inquiry. Fortunately, we don't have to solve it. We can just discuss what properties objects have without ever deciding which of those properties add up to something that we'd like to call "life".

However, the word "life" is convenient: thhat's what social conventions are for. I would suggest that we should define it in the way that is most convenient for whatever particular situation we find ourselves in.

In the context of these boards, the convenient place is that point at which the (short) answer to any given question is "evolution". That is, the significant features defining "life" should be reproduction with variation.


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mosassam
Junior Member (Idle past 2380 days)
Posts: 15
Joined: 02-26-2009


Message 11 of 268 (587168)
10-17-2010 12:31 PM


I posted this thread and left it to stew for a while to see what would emerge. Firstly I must state that I am not, in any way shape or form, a creationist/IDist but I am of the opinion that the reductionist method may not be as all encompassing as it appears to be.
Part of science is to provide a description of reality and, in my opinion, Life is a fundamental feature of reality, particularly when discussing something like evolution. To suggest that trying to define Life is outside the arena of science seems preposterous to me and I find it truly shocking that there seems to be no scientific consensus on what Life is but it is understandable.
Reductionism cannot touch something like Life which is why the question must be treated as non-scientific, brushed aside or sniggered at. The only alternative is to imagine that Life is an emergent property of physical/chemical interactions. An optical illusion created by complexity.
I would like to put this thought forward:
What if Life is an independently existing, NON-PHYSICAL phenomenom? How could reductionism describe something like this?
As Frank Yurco stated "Life should be taken as a given, like energy or matter."
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jar
Member
Posts: 29140
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 12 of 268 (587169)
10-17-2010 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by mosassam
10-17-2010 12:31 PM


As I pointed out in Message 7, life appears to be a spectrum as opposed to some discrete point.

As Frank Yurco stated "Life should be taken as a given, like energy or matter."

But even when we look at matter and energy there is no discrete point. There are things we can describe as energy or as matter depending on our perspective.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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mosassam
Junior Member (Idle past 2380 days)
Posts: 15
Joined: 02-26-2009


Message 13 of 268 (587170)
10-17-2010 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Dr Adequate
09-13-2010 1:28 PM


You are living. It is one of the most fundamental aspects of your existence. Rather than talk generally about Life let's get specific - the Life in YOU. Could we say you are Matter, Energy and Life? Matter and Energy are scientific but Life is not? Matter exists, Energy exists but Life does not? If Life does exist surely it MUST be described specifically by science.
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Panda
Member (Idle past 1182 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 14 of 268 (587171)
10-17-2010 12:53 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by mosassam
10-17-2010 12:31 PM


mosassam writes:

Life is a fundamental feature of reality


Well, not the most extensive definition of life I have seen.
Any chance you could be more explicit, so that we know what you are referring to?

mosassam writes:

I would like to put this thought forward:
What if Life is an independently existing, NON-PHYSICAL phenomenom?


How would you identify this non-physical phenomenon?
How would you detect it?
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Replies to this message:
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mosassam
Junior Member (Idle past 2380 days)
Posts: 15
Joined: 02-26-2009


Message 15 of 268 (587172)
10-17-2010 12:54 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by jar
10-17-2010 12:41 PM


So you are saying that Life is as 'real' as Energy and Matter?
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