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Author Topic:   What is life?
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 280 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 8 of 33 (503452)
03-19-2009 8:17 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by alaninnont
03-18-2009 9:56 AM


Life is a collection of chemicals that, given the right environmental conditions, can promote their own synthesis through surface catalysis.

---

Yes, I know, but it's the best I can do.


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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 280 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 11 of 33 (503462)
03-19-2009 11:07 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by alaninnont
03-19-2009 8:40 AM


Re: some expansion please
High five for Dr. A but that would include and exclude some things that we do not and do consider life.

It would include viruses, but I'm happy with that.

What would it exclude that you'd like to include?


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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 280 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 13 of 33 (503525)
03-19-2009 8:11 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by alaninnont
03-19-2009 6:10 PM


Re: some expansion please
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "surface" catalysis?

I was trying to exclude, for example, the way that water is required to catalyze the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen in the presence of a spark, which makes more water but which we would wish to exclude from the definition of life. I forget what that's called, but it's called something else.

Is anyone round here a chemist?

I can see it excluding all males.

Why? I am male, and the chemicals of which I am constituted do indeed catalyze their own synthesis.


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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 280 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 33 of 33 (768150)
09-08-2015 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by dwise1
09-06-2015 1:02 PM


Islam? If not, then to what are you referring? How can we look at the seven pillars when we have no idea which seven pillars you are talking about?

He must be referring to this. Similar though not always identical definitions can be found in biology textbooks. I don't agree with it, but it's not completely off the wall, it's in many ways a quite reasonable way of tackling the question.


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