Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 113 (8749 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 05-26-2017 3:04 PM
116 online now:
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: Roshankumar1234
Post Volume:
Total: 809,069 Year: 13,675/21,208 Month: 3,157/3,605 Week: 499/933 Day: 37/51 Hour: 0/0

Announcements: Reporting debate problems OR discussing moderation actions/inactions


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
RewPrev1
...
202122
23
2425Next
Author Topic:   Life - an Unequivicol Definition
AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 288 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 331 of 374 (774506)
12-18-2015 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 329 by ringo
12-18-2015 12:20 PM


Re: The horse is just about dead!
ringo writes:

Of course it can. That's what people have been telling you for hundreds of posts.

"Is this thing alive?"
"I dunno."

But that doesn't absolve you from the dichotomy, and it doesn't establish a continuum.

In the scientifically established and published chemicals to life continuum, we can say that DNA molecules are closer to life than lead on the continuum, simply because they are organic complex chemicals rather than elemental chemicals. But on your false continuum of non-life to life you cannot say that DNA is any more closer to life than lead, because they are equally non-life. That's not a continuum. It is just a negation of the affirmative. A multitude of other organic non-living complex chemical arrangements are just as equally non-living.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 329 by ringo, posted 12-18-2015 12:20 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 336 by ringo, posted 12-19-2015 11:38 AM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded
 Message 349 by RAZD, posted 12-23-2015 12:37 PM AlphaOmegakid has responded

  
AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 288 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 332 of 374 (774509)
12-18-2015 1:29 PM


out of here!
Have a nice weekend. No matter how obstinate you think I am!
Replies to this message:
 Message 333 by RAZD, posted 12-18-2015 3:14 PM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18472
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 333 of 374 (774518)
12-18-2015 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 332 by AlphaOmegakid
12-18-2015 1:29 PM


Enjoy your weekend
Have a nice weekend. No matter how obstinate you think I am!

Planning on it, getting ready for our family annual solstice celebration.

When you get back perhaps you can address the definition issues of Message 303 and Message 309 and Message 313:

quote:
Instead, why don't you address the actual issues with your failed definition:

quote:
Message 309: Now, the rest of my post that you ignored (See Message 303 again):

quote:
and that is why your definition is in such trouble defining multicellular life.

You want us to accept that if a cell is living by your definition somewhere inside some boundary enclosure where everything inside is contiguous (touching another part) that the enclosed entity is alive ... whether it is a clam (with more mass and volume in the shell than the contents) or a lobster (that sheds a new shell every year) that this somehow makes the whole enclosed entity alive ...

... unless it is a goldfish inside a ziplock bag with water (contiguous, enclosed by a distinct boundary) ... ?

... or a Russian doll set with a bacteria in the innermost doll ... each doll is a distinct enclosing boundary in contact with the doll inside ...

... but there is no question (in your mind) that the clam and the lobster are alive ... because equivocation?

Because the words you use DO have meanings, even when they result in things becoming classified as "alive" by your definition that you did not intend.

Because your definition is anchored\embedded in processes that only occur inside a single cell and thus CANNOT be applied to multicellular life.


What about the hermit crab ... "Most of the 1100 species possess an asymmetrical abdomen which is concealed in an empty gastropod shell carried around by the hermit crab." -- how is it different from (a) the goldfish-water-ziplock-bag entity and (b) the original gastropod entity?


So you are having two difficulties: one at the cell level between what is 100% alive and what is 100% not ever alive, and one between what is a multicellular entity and what is something else entirely, and where this multcellular entity can vary from 100% alive contents and boundary to almost 0% alive contents with 100% not alive boundary (clams, lobsters, hermit crabs, ... and goldfish-water-ziplock-bag entities, Russian Dolls, etc ... things people do not regularly consider as alive).

Difficulties that you still have not resolved to anyone's (but your own obstinate) satisfaction.


and now you have Message 320 where I detail multiple instances where your definition fails at the multicellular level, listing every point in your definition, step by step as I promised.

Failure to respond does not constitute any kind of refutation, rather it would tend to confirm that your definition cannot be applied to multicellular life as you have done without causing fatal problems in not being able to accurately distinguish life from non-life.

No definition of life based solely on molecular processes inside a cell can apply to multicellular life without having similar problems in identifying things not usually considered 'life' to be alive.

Enjoy your weakend.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 332 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-18-2015 1:29 PM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 109 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 334 of 374 (774558)
12-18-2015 9:27 PM
Reply to: Message 330 by AlphaOmegakid
12-18-2015 12:37 PM


Re: The horse is just about dead!
Hi, AOK.

AlphaOmegakid writes:

Can you not see any difference at all in the words "chemicals to life" and " non-life to life"???????

Yes, I see the difference in the words, but all you're arguing is words. Reality doesn't have to conform to linguistic conventions. 'Life' is a vague, imprecise term with no clear, unequivocal definition, so the dividing line between 'life' and 'non-life' is fuzzy.

Some things could be placed in either 'bin,' so despite the way it molests the rules of linguistics, 'life' and 'non-life' are not necessarily mutually exclusive categories.

-----

Anyway, have a good weekend, and Merry Christmas!

Edited by Blue Jay, : fixed codes


-Blue Jay, Ph.D.*

*Yeah, it's real

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 330 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-18-2015 12:37 PM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12504
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 3.4


(3)
Message 335 of 374 (774583)
12-19-2015 9:24 AM


Moderator On Duty
My last post as Percy was three days ago, and so I am transitioning out of my participant role as Percy and into my moderator role as Admin. I will no longer be participating as Percy.

Discussion of the subtopic of continuums has gone on long enough and should be discontinued. I rule that the outcome of the discussion is that there is a continuum from life to non-life. The subject can be raised again if someone else joins the thread who also believes there can be no continuum from life to non-life, because a fresh perspective is often helpful.

About definitions: I'm also not going to tolerate detailed analysis of English based upon highly literal applications of dictionary definitions. Fluent speakers of English have no need of doing this. Participants can either conduct their discussion as if they were a fluent speaker of English, or they can cease participating.

Please, no replies to this message.

Edited by Admin, : Correct misstatement in 1st para: "moderating as Percy" => "participating as Percy"


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 13025
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 336 of 374 (774588)
12-19-2015 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 331 by AlphaOmegakid
12-18-2015 1:04 PM


Re: The horse is just about dead!
AlphaOmegakid writes:

... you cannot say that DNA is any more closer to life than lead, because they are equally non-life.


DNA exists only in relation to living things, so it is definitely "closer to life" than lead. If DNA (or RNA or some other analog) did arise spontaneously from chemicals, then in doing so it became "closer to life".

Since you love analogies so much, here's another: Alsace-Lorraine is closer to France than it is to China. It is also closer to Germany than it is to China. However, sometimes in history it has been part of France and sometimes it has been part of Germany. The only way to define it unequivocally is to pick an arbitrary point in time.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 331 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-18-2015 1:04 PM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 337 by Admin, posted 12-19-2015 12:50 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12504
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 337 of 374 (774596)
12-19-2015 12:50 PM
Reply to: Message 336 by ringo
12-19-2015 11:38 AM


Re: The horse is just about dead!
ringo writes:

Since you love analogies so much, here's another: Alsace-Lorraine is closer to France than it is to China. It is also closer to Germany than it is to China. However, sometimes in history it has been part of France and sometimes it has been part of Germany. The only way to define it unequivocally is to pick an arbitrary point in time.

Didn't expect to find this tidbit of history in this thread. In case there are other history buffs around, this is an off-topic plug for the documentary Apocalypse: World War II. Narrated by Martin Sheen, it uses original colorized footage (except for portions related to the holocaust) and is excellent. Available to Netflix members.

This came to mind because in episode 1 (there are 6) it mentions Hitler's desire to reclaim Alsace-Lorraine, and it's mentioned a couple more times in episode 2 as the German advance into France is recounted.

Edited by Admin, : Typo.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 336 by ringo, posted 12-19-2015 11:38 AM ringo has acknowledged this reply

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11348
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 338 of 374 (774651)
12-20-2015 8:30 AM
Reply to: Message 326 by AlphaOmegakid
12-18-2015 11:16 AM


Re: The horse is just about dead!
The problem is, there can never logically be anything continuing in between white and non-white.

Yes, there can. All you have to do is create a third state in-between them:

Off-white - a shade of white that isn't quite pure white but still counts as white
Semi-white
Quasi-white
Sorta-white
I can't tell if that is white or not
I don't know
Extremely light grey - still not quite non-white, but further from pure white than off-white is.

None of those are non-white, but they're not quite white either.

I can say that a virus is very close to living. It's pretty far away from just simple chemicals and it is pretty close to living. That's legitimate. Now if we place the virus on the "non-life"/"life" chart in exactly the same spot, what can we say? Not much, because we don't have a continuum. We have a dividing line between life and non-life.

The whole point that you're failing to address is to drop this hard-line dichotomy and think about a third state between life and non-life.

Let's just call it quasi-life.

Life - quasi-life - non-life.

Viruses are quasi-life.

There's no reason to draw a strict line and say that they are definitely non-life. You can't say that something that called quasi-life isn't called life because we don't know that, it might be or it might not.

In the continuum from chemicals to life, we can have an equivocal definition of life, or we can have an unequivocal definition of life. That does not destroy the continuum from chemicals to life in any manner.

Having an unequivocal definition creates that hard-line dichotomy and prevents the inclusion of a continuum. The portion you drew below the yellow line is a dichotomy that you placed on top of a continuum to identify where one part of the continuum ends and the other begins. The whole point of having a continuum is to remove the ability to place that line.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 326 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-18-2015 11:16 AM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 339 by Admin, posted 12-20-2015 10:28 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded
 Message 340 by RAZD, posted 12-20-2015 4:29 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded
 Message 344 by xongsmith, posted 12-21-2015 9:34 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12504
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 3.4


(4)
Message 339 of 374 (774654)
12-20-2015 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 338 by New Cat's Eye
12-20-2015 8:30 AM


Re: The horse is just about dead!
Please see Message 335.

Repeating what I said there in different terms, because continuums are a side discussion that doesn't seem to be moving toward resolution, I ruled that at least in this thread there is a continuum from life to non-life.

I also ruled against demanding strict and unambiguous word definitions. If it were really possible to communicate complex concepts and detailed processes in a few words then textbooks would be much shorter (in times past I would have said much lighter). There is gradation and subtlety and nuance everywhere, and insisting on particular precise word definitions don't make it go away. Almost all words have more than one definition. There is so much meaning to communicate that most words are shared by many meanings. Insisting that all meanings of a word but one be ignored might make meaning more clear for a particular sentence in a particular context on a particular day, but not everywhere all the time, and in the end it makes communication more difficult.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 338 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-20-2015 8:30 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18472
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 340 of 374 (774683)
12-20-2015 4:29 PM
Reply to: Message 338 by New Cat's Eye
12-20-2015 8:30 AM


The horse is dead! (long live the horse)
Given the ruling from Admin, it would seem prudent for anyone wanting to continue this discussion to start a new thread.

If it were me I would start with the traditional definition of life

and then look at examples of what is considered life but which doesn't meet ALL of the requirements ... to get an idea of how much compliance is necessary -- 6 out of 7? 5 out of 7? ... 4 out of 7? And at what level do you start "admitting" things that are generally NOT considered life.

My impression is that it would come down to a similar difference as there is between splitters and lumpers in defining species.

Could be an interesting discussion whether AOK or any other creationist chooses to participate.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 338 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-20-2015 8:30 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 288 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 341 of 374 (774704)
12-21-2015 10:58 AM


End of discussion!
Well,I guess that's it then.

Apparently no one wants to discuss the continuum of chemistry to life. Over and over I offered this as logical and valid with no argument from me. It is what is mentioned in Biology books, and peer reviewed papers, but no one in this forum wants to discuss it. It has all the gray area that all of you want with no argument from me against it. It has no dichotomy and no hard lines. Yet not one poster other than me wants to use it as the model or analogy.

Why is that?

I certainly am not willing to continue any discussion about the exact same continuum concept using the words "life" and "non-life". Therefore, you all win by fiat. Whuptydoo!

As far as my definition of life, I was looking forward to rebutting RAZD, but now I can't. Definitions of words and their application are the only way I can defend it. And that's been ruled out by fiat as well.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!


-AlphaOmegakid-
I am a child of the creator of the beginning and the end

Replies to this message:
 Message 343 by herebedragons, posted 12-21-2015 11:36 AM AlphaOmegakid has responded
 Message 346 by RAZD, posted 12-22-2015 1:11 PM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15929
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 342 of 374 (774709)
12-21-2015 11:25 AM


So, I've not really been following this, did AlphaOmegakid ever do anything about the massive flaws in his definition?
  
herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1324
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 6.0


(1)
Message 343 of 374 (774710)
12-21-2015 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 341 by AlphaOmegakid
12-21-2015 10:58 AM


Re: End of discussion!
Stop it, you're not a martyr; neither are you restricted from pursuing your argument, you just need a different approach. If you accept a continuum between chemicals and life, then what's the problem? Demonstrate that there is a non-arbitrary point at which we can separate living beings from non-living beings. That is the point of your proposed definition of life. Why is the production of ATP not an arbitrary line? What is so special about ATP as opposed to say GTP or some of the other energy carrying molecules that others have mentioned? What would having such a hard distinction between life and non-life be helpful to our study of biology?

There are a lot of questions that have been raised that you have not addressed; and they don't require discussion of a continuum to answer. Address what your opponents have proposed as being flaws in your definition.

Yet not one poster other than me wants to use it as the model or analogy.

What are you talking about?? We have agreed with that. What you need to show is why your line between life and non-life is not an arbitrary distinction.

As far as my definition of life, I was looking forward to rebutting RAZD, but now I can't. Definitions of words and their application are the only way I can defend it. And that's been ruled out by fiat as well.

No it hasn't. Repetitive and meaningless arguments based on highly literal meanings of words is what has been ruled out. The arguments can be made based on common usage of words and logic and most of all, evidence that supports a position. However, I think the ruling goes both ways... some of the arguments from the other side were also using this type of tactic and Percy's ruling applies to them as well (see Message 338).

Definitions may indeed be important to an argument, but they can't be the whole of the argument...

HBD


Whoever calls me ignorant shares my own opinion. Sorrowfully and tacitly I recognize my ignorance, when I consider how much I lack of what my mind in its craving for knowledge is sighing for... I console myself with the consideration that this belongs to our common nature. - Francesco Petrarca

"Nothing is easier than to persuade people who want to be persuaded and already believe." - another Petrarca gem.

Ignorance is a most formidable opponent rivaled only by arrogance; but when the two join forces, one is all but invincible.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 341 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-21-2015 10:58 AM AlphaOmegakid has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 345 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-22-2015 12:50 PM herebedragons has not yet responded

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1776
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 344 of 374 (774746)
12-21-2015 9:34 PM
Reply to: Message 338 by New Cat's Eye
12-20-2015 8:30 AM


Re: The horse is just about dead!
And I have to make my stupid smirky:

Skip the light fandango....on a horse with no name...:/


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 338 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-20-2015 8:30 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

    
AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 288 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 345 of 374 (774780)
12-22-2015 12:50 PM
Reply to: Message 343 by herebedragons
12-21-2015 11:36 AM


Re: End of discussion!
Stop it, you're not a martyr; neither are you restricted from pursuing your argument, you just need a different approach.

I am only responding to this, because it demonstrates my point very well. Your sentence above is self refuting. You say I am not restricted from making my argument, then you say that I am restricted, because I must make another approach. I have used multiple examples in words and graphics and it doesn't matter. The ruling is I lose by fiat.

If you accept a continuum between chemicals and life, then what's the problem?
That's what I would like to know. I have offered two valid logical continuums for this discussion, and every one else seems to be stuck on "non-life" to "life" which I clearly think and have shown multiple times now that it is nonsensical. But now it makes perfect sense just because Percy says so.

Demonstrate that there is a non-arbitrary point at which we can separate living beings from non-living beings.

We have it now. It's called cellular life. It's call Cell Theory which is just as important as the hailed TOE.

quote:

1. All known living things are made up of one or more cells[13]
2. All living cells arise from pre-existing cells by division.
3. The cell is the fundamental unit of structure and function in all living organisms.[14]

Cell theory has become the foundation of biology and is the most widely accepted explanation of the function of cells.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_theory



Now I have quoted and used this before. Here is the evidence you demand, but you will just ignore it is my guess.

That is the point of your proposed definition of life.

No, the point of my definition is to shift the current cellular life to something possibly simpler that that. I have used the example of a mitochondria for instance.

Why is the production of ATP not an arbitrary line? What is so special about ATP as opposed to say GTP or some of the other energy carrying molecules that others have mentioned?

The group think in this forum has created a "common usage" understanding of the word "arbitrary" that has no relationship to Mr. Webster or the English language. Even to the point where some think that grades in education are arbitrarily chosen. How can I argue against such use of the language? When I am forced to use the "common language" that is used in this forum. I answered all of this in Message 14 over a month ago.

What would having such a hard distinction between life and non-life be helpful to our study of biology?

Maybe, possibly, just on a whim, it might be because Biology is the study of "LIFE". That's why Wiki says that "Cell theory has become the foundation of biology". I assume that understanding is helpful if it is the foundation. But in this forum, I'm not sure what "helpful" or "foundation" means in the common language. I suspect it is nothing like the editors of wiki intend.

There are a lot of questions that have been raised that you have not addressed; and they don't require discussion of a continuum to answer. Address what your opponents have proposed as being flaws in your definition.

And which "common language" dictionary can we agree on. No one here, but me can see that in official english "non-life" is the negation of "life". No middle ground possible. But the fiat language trumps that. And I assume it would also with any defense I make, because I am defending a definition and that has words with meaning within. Most of which RAZD thinks is controversial. Word and definitions is my only defense.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 343 by herebedragons, posted 12-21-2015 11:36 AM herebedragons has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 347 by Admin, posted 12-22-2015 1:49 PM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded
 Message 348 by RAZD, posted 12-23-2015 8:18 AM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

  
RewPrev1
...
202122
23
2425Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2017