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Author Topic:   Life - an Unequivicol Definition
RAZD
Member (Idle past 642 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 136 of 374 (773359)
11-30-2015 11:35 AM
Reply to: Message 131 by NoNukes
11-27-2015 3:36 PM


Re: equine masochistic necrophilia
In my opinion, 'capable of evolving' ought to mean "undergoing a change in allele frequency in a population from generation to generation". ...

Again, are you claiming that every new generation of mules have exactly the same distribution of alleles as the previously existing population?

... We don't even agree that mules are a population, which is something I find strange. ...

They are not a breeding population, just as any grouping of all males, or of all females, or of a 'superpopulation' gathering during non-mating times, are not breeding populations.

Beyond that, I think agreeing that something less than demonstrating the process of evolution is sufficient might mean that a simpler definition of life is possible.

Feel free to develop one.

You've skipped over something obvious. Horses and donkeys are not the same species. Therefore a mule cannot possibly be the same species as horses and donkeys. It is a hybrid. We can easily discuss a separate population of mules without requiring a separate species.

But not a separate breeding population ...

Curiously I am not making a claim that they are anything but a hybrid, that individually each mule is the product of (human) breeding a (female) horse with a (male) donkey, and that as such their breeding population includes (female) horses and (male) donkeys.

Do you think mules are a breeding population? If no, then that should clear up your problem.

Separate population is not the same thing as separate species. It simply means a group of animals distinct enough to talk about. Like a population with a different number of chromosomes than either horses or donkeys.

And there are many non-breeding population groups -- often involving several different species -- but when talking about evolution you need to be talking about the breeding populations.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by NoNukes, posted 11-27-2015 3:36 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 219 by NoNukes, posted 12-04-2015 12:14 PM RAZD has replied

  
AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 2113 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 137 of 374 (773361)
11-30-2015 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Dr Adequate
11-12-2015 1:11 PM


Dr. A writes:

Part 1

Well, I can see some problems with your definition.

Hypothetically, suppose we met a bunch of intelligent space aliens that could discuss poetry with us and play chess with us, but had a different basis for their biology, no DNA, no ATP. According to your definition, they're not alive. They're not as alive as a bacterium. They're as alive as a rock, i.e. not alive. They don't use ATP.

But surely a definition of life should include them?

Why? They are imagination. They are fiction. What scientific principle requires such an inclusion?

Dr. A writes:

By analogy, imagine an island where a bunch of white people live, and where all the animals are black. Now, these islanders might come up with a definition of human that says: "Humans are white, anything that's black is a mere animal". But their definition is parochial, it only works for their particular island in the particular time that they're inhabiting it.

A definition of life has to include everything that we'd acknowledge as being alive if we saw it.

And keeping with your example, once the definition no longer works, it must be abandoned or modified. No big deal. "Science" does posit the theory of panspermia though doesn't it. And within that theory, the life that is seeded on this earth is what we currently identify as organic life. No need to deal with fiction or imagination. "science" is about knowing, and we know what life is. Therefore we can define it.


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 642 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 138 of 374 (773363)
11-30-2015 11:58 AM
Reply to: Message 132 by herebedragons
11-27-2015 4:16 PM


Re: try again - definition as theory ...
... Ten to twenty years ago, it was pretty much the consensus that viruses were not alive. Now, it depends on who you ask. I heard a virologist on NPR this morning who referred to viruses as "organisms" that are alive. So the thinking about whether viruses are alive or not is shifting towards the "yes" side; not because definitions are changing or because scientists are being equivocal, but because we are changing how we view these grey areas. ...

Indeed, especially as we see more and more viruses that are capable of replication without high-jacking cells, and{about the abilities of RNA}, and as we look closer and closer into the possible development of life. Viruses are being more and more accepted as an intermediate stage from first life to modern cellular life.

... In the same way, by his definition, viruses are not in this blurry area between living and non-living; they are simply defined as non-living.

Which then creates a problem with some parts of 'non-living' structures behaving like 'living' structures and unlike what is normally viewed as 'non-living' structures (like rocks). That just moves the blurry area but doesn't get rid of it.

Note that by AOK's definition only cells are alive because only they process\manufacture ATP -- multicellular life-forms consume raw materials and metabolize them by breaking them down and sending the raw materials into the cells which then process them. That puts multicellular life into a gray area when it is usually de facto accepted as life.

4. I think your attempt to define life as "anything capable of evolution" is also problematic, IMO. I am not sure I can explain exactly why I don't like that definition, ...

Perhaps it appears to much like a tautology at first glance.

... but it seems to require too many caveats and additional explanations, otherwise it simply means "anything that can change over time."

As noted before it is modified to "anything capable of (biological) evolution" as I had felt "biological" was understood when discussing life.

I think we should stick to the time-tested, simple description of life we all learn in school.

Life has (1) self-contained and organized structures (2) the ability to convert chemicals into metabolic and structural components (3) the ability to regulate it's metabolism (4) the ability to grow (5a) the ability to reproduce (5b) heritable traits (6) the ability to adapt to its environment (7) the ability to respond to stimuli

I would argue that viruses ARE capable of all the above within a suitable environment (regulate metabolism is questionable but all the rest seem solid).

I think the above "definition" is simple enough and is thoroughly descriptive of life as we know it. It is not too specific about any of the processes so some as of yet unknown life could still fit this definition.

There are some life forms that do not exhibit all those elements (see looong post above for link to The Definition of Life By Joseph Morales). I would also delete "self-contained" as that is not entirely correct, and I would consider "metabolism" and "regulate metabolism" to be a subset of replication of molecules from raw materials (some viruses can make proteins for instance, which I would consider regulated metabolism).

But who knows, we may someday need to update the definition somewhat to accommodate new discoveries.

We can also treat definition as theories; they explain evidence, they can be falsified, and they can be altered to accommodate new evidence ... and you can have competing or alternate theories ... and we can investigate to see which one best explains all the evidence.

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : .

Edited by RAZD, : ..

Edited by RAZD, : ...

Edited by RAZD, : ....

Edited by RAZD, : link to The Definition of Life By Joseph Morales

Edited by RAZD, : {corrected}


we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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This message is a reply to:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 139 of 374 (773379)
11-30-2015 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 135 by AlphaOmegakid
11-30-2015 11:25 AM


Re: Black White or Grey?
Well not to make a big deal about this, but it is done all the time. There is black paint, and there is white paint. Grey is a mixture of the two.

No, making grey paint is not identifying the point where the gradient changes from black to white.

Cat Sci writes:

You're insisting that only the far right edge be called black, and everything else besides that be called white.

Denying the existence of all that grey space is a disservice to everyone.

Why do you insist on it?

Well No! Either you drastically misunderstand or this is a severe strawman

Hang on. You offered your rigid definition. Someone provided an item in the grey area; viruses. You responded that since they don't meet your definition then they are not alive.

How is that not denying that there is a grey area to life?

You are literally creating a dichotomy...

Let's say since black symbolically represents death, that black is dead stuff.

Let's not. Being dead implies being formally alive.

Instead, let's talk about the difference between chemistry and biology, or chemicals and organisms.

If you drill down into an organism, you find that it gradually changes into chemicals. If you expand up from the chemistry of an organism (which is not alive, itself), you find that it gradually changes into biology.

There is no sharp line where chemistry stops and biology starts. It is like that image of a gradient that I showed.

Trying to build a rigid definition of life is a fruitless endeavor because you are trying to find the point in that gradient where black becomes white... and that is impossible.

Since white is the combo of all colors,

Ahem, if you're talking about paint then that is backwards. White is the combo of all colors when you are describing light, not pigment (where black is the combo of all colors).

My definition is on the grey side of white. It is not 100% white, but very close, and within the 10% gradient line as an analogy.

But the things that are life-like, but don't meet your definition, are rejected as not being alive.

That's denying the grey area and insisting that life is only the things that are white.

Now let's look at some examples with the current 7 characteristics of Life that are in most Biology textbooks:

You do realize that is a grade school level of science and is for describing cellular life, don't you?

The only reason "life is fuzzy" is because of the equivocal terms used to define it.

No, and I suspect this is the root of your problem. You've got it completely backwards.

Equivocal terms are necessary for defining life because it is a fuzzy reality.

My definition does not remove the grey, but it limits what can be identified as white.

That's what I'm talking about; You are removing the grey area from what you are defining as life.

You say that you are doing this to eliminate equivocation.

You still haven't answered my question: WHY DO THIS?

Why should anyone care for an unequivocal definition of life? Especially considering the fact that it is fuzzy and an unequivocal definition is doomed before you even get started. Plus, an unequivocal definition of life is of no use to biologists. So why?


This message is a reply to:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 20759
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


(2)
Message 140 of 374 (773380)
11-30-2015 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 135 by AlphaOmegakid
11-30-2015 11:25 AM


Re: Black White or Grey?
AlphaOmegakid writes:

Well not to make a big deal about this, but it is done all the time. There is black paint, and there is white paint. Grey is a mixture of the two.

There exists only one shade of white. There exists only one shade of black. There are an infinite number of shades of gray. What you're doing is akin to picking one point in this image and calling everything to its left white, and everything to its right black, in effect ignoring all the different shades of gray:

The analogy is to the differing degrees of life. You're attempting to create a definition where everything is either living or dead with no shades of gray in between. Not likely possible with anything so complex.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 11-30-2015 11:25 AM AlphaOmegakid has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 141 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 11-30-2015 6:26 PM Percy has replied

  
AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 2113 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 141 of 374 (773388)
11-30-2015 6:26 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by Percy
11-30-2015 4:30 PM


Re: Black White or Grey?
Percy,

This just isn't so. Someone asked about a mitochondria. It meets my definition! It's part of endosymbiotic theory. I don't know of any that can survive outside of a cell. But a functioning mitochondria outside of a eukayrotic cell would be alive according to my definition, and I would be quite happy with that.

A definition is to create the description that differentiates living organisms from other chemical arrangements. I chose the simplest arrangement that includes the production of metabolic molecules and the production of the enzymes required for their synthesis. A mitochondria's DNA level is much smaller than the entire cell's.

You completely ignored my application of virions, fire , crystals, and self-replicating molecules. All of which fall into the grey area somewhere. Call them fuzzy if you want, but the consensus agrees that none of these are alive. So there must be a recognition that there is some minimal level to be called life. You cannot intelligently argue that this minimal requirement doesn't exist long before this discussion began. What you and others are wanting to do is say that life is a continuum from chemicals to life, and that is a faith based premise that I do not accept. It ignores the many things in life that are not chemical. ie organization, architecture or shape, electromagnetic radiation, and gravity. ( none of which are chemical)

And finally, any good definition of life must also identify it's opposite (or death). Life is not the continuum. Death is. So I have used the analogy properly. That is of course if you think you can define death for us chemically?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by Percy, posted 11-30-2015 4:30 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by RAZD, posted 12-01-2015 8:51 AM AlphaOmegakid has replied
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 642 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(2)
Message 142 of 374 (773404)
12-01-2015 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 141 by AlphaOmegakid
11-30-2015 6:26 PM


two gray areas and "dead" tardigrades, seeds and spores
A definition is to create the description that differentiates living organisms from other chemical arrangements. I chose the simplest arrangement that includes the production of metabolic molecules and the production of the enzymes required for their synthesis. A mitochondria's DNA level is much smaller than the entire cell's.

There are two main problems with your definition.

(1) It doesn't address the issue of viral life, which is increasingly being accepted as life forms as more is found out (self replication without host, metabolism and making of proteins used to encase it, etc); rather it ignores it and pretends that it is non-life, and in the process creates a third category of things: life, non-life that behaves like life (evolves, reproduces, etc, and not what is generally understood as "non-life"), and non-life that doesn't behave like life (rocks, and other non-life as it is generally understood). Not being able to distinguish between these last two cases is a fatal flaw.

(2) Because it is based on microbiological functions inside the cell, it only defines cells as being alive:

Message 1: Life, or a living organism is a self contained entity which uses ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for metabolism and synthesizes ATP with enzymes which are synthesized from a genetic process requiring the transfer of information from DNA to RNA.

... the ATP is only synthesized inside the cell, DNA and RNA are also operating inside the cell (or are viruses); as a result your "mule" is not alive but it's cells are -- a condition you implied was fatal for my definition (Message 97): "So what you are doing is equivocating between a population being properly a population of mules or a population being some group of cells within the mule."

Not being directly applicable to multicellular life is a fatal flaw.

So you've created two gray areas with your definition that aren't life and that aren't really non-life ... as "non-life" is generally understood: one between cellular life and first life, and one built up of multiple cells working together.

And finally, any good definition of life must also identify it's opposite (or death). Life is not the continuum. Death is. ...

Make that 3 problems ...

Consider tardigrades ... Tardigrades:

quote:
Tardigrades (also known as water bears or moss piglets)[2][3][4] are water-dwelling, eight-legged, segmented micro-animals.[2] ...

Tardigrades are notable for being perhaps the most durable of known organisms; they are able to survive extreme conditions that would be rapidly fatal to nearly all other known life forms. They can withstand temperature ranges from −458 °F (−272.222 °C) to 300 °F (149 °C), pressures about six times greater than those found in the deepest ocean trenches, ionizing radiation at doses hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for a human, and the vacuum of outer space. They can go without food or water for more than 10 years, drying out to the point where they are 3% or less water, only to rehydrate, forage, and reproduce.


Seeds and bacteria can also have a phase where there is no metabolism (ie - no production of ATP, no function of DNA\RNA) until conditions become favorable for it's life. Are they dead in between periods of being alive? Your definition would say so. Are they resurrected?

Seeds were recently recovered from an archaeological dig inside a pottery container ~800 years old ...

quote:
Extinct Squash’ Grown From 800-Year-Old Heirloom Seeds

A species of squash believed to be extinct has been grown from 800-year-old seeds found at an archeological dig.

A group of students in Winnipeg, Canada, proved that heirloom seeds can be viable even if they have been buried for centuries. They had a feast in September to celebrate the discovery.


And the oldest known viable seed recovered and grown to date is

quote:
Oldest viable seed

The oldest carbon-14-dated seed that has grown into a viable plant was Silene stenophylla (narrow-leafed campion), an Arctic flower native to Siberia. Radiocarbon dating has confirmed an age of 31,800 ±300 years for the seeds. In 2007, more than 600,000 frozen mature and immature seeds were found buried in 70 squirrel hibernation burrows 38 metres (125 ft) below the permafrost near the banks of the Kolyma River. Believed to have been buried by Arctic ground squirrels, the mature seeds had been damaged to prevent germination in the burrow, however, three of the immature seeds contained viable embryos. Scientists extracted the embryos and successfully germinated plants in vitro which grew, flowered and created viable seeds of their own. ...


And then there is the bacteria:

quote:
Endospores

Endospores show no detectable metabolism and can survive extreme physical and chemical stresses, such as high levels of UV light, gamma radiation, detergents, disinfectants, heat, freezing, pressure, and desiccation.[79] In this dormant state, these organisms may remain viable for millions of years,[80][81] and endospores even allow bacteria to survive exposure to the vacuum and radiation in space.[82] According to scientist Dr. Steinn Sigurdsson, "There are viable bacterial spores that have been found that are 40 million years old on Earth — and we know they're very hardened to radiation."...


And yeasts, moss, and many other life-forms also use spores to propagate ...

By your definition these spores are dead, so is life created from non-life when they revive\grow?

Not being able to distinguish between life and death in such instances is a fatal flaw.

Curiously, these organism are capable of evolving ...

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : (3)

Edited by RAZD, : ]

Edited by RAZD, : correction


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 141 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 11-30-2015 6:26 PM AlphaOmegakid has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-01-2015 11:02 AM RAZD has replied
 Message 233 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-07-2015 3:17 PM RAZD has replied
 Message 234 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-07-2015 3:25 PM RAZD has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20759
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 143 of 374 (773408)
12-01-2015 10:48 AM
Reply to: Message 141 by AlphaOmegakid
11-30-2015 6:26 PM


Re: Black White or Grey?
AlphaOmegakid writes:

This just isn't so.

What just isn't so? About shades of gray being analogous to degrees of life? About you just picking one point and hoping everything is unambiguously on one side or the other? And whatever it is yo're referring to, you can't just declare something not so without providing evidence and a rationale.

What you and others are wanting to do is say that life is a continuum from chemicals to life, and that is a faith based premise that I do not accept.

That's it? Just blindly declare it a faith-based premise and be done with it?

It ignores the many things in life that are not chemical. ie organization, architecture or shape, electromagnetic radiation, and gravity. ( none of which are chemical)

Chemicals don't have "organization, architecture or shape"? Chemicals aren't subject to "electromagnetic radiation, and gravity"?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 11-30-2015 6:26 PM AlphaOmegakid has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 150 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-01-2015 6:22 PM Percy has replied

  
AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 2113 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 144 of 374 (773410)
12-01-2015 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 142 by RAZD
12-01-2015 8:51 AM


no grey areas here RAZD
RAZD writes:

(1) It doesn't address the issue of viral life, which is increasingly being accepted as life forms as more is found out (self replication without host, metabolism and making of proteins used to encase it, etc)

You have claimed this several times now. Admittedly, I am totally unaware of this. Evidence Please! Hopefully papers I can access on the web. Not journalistic articles I hope.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by RAZD, posted 12-01-2015 8:51 AM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 160 by RAZD, posted 12-02-2015 9:09 AM AlphaOmegakid has replied

  
Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 1342 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


(3)
Message 145 of 374 (773411)
12-01-2015 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by AlphaOmegakid
11-12-2015 10:32 AM


Life, or a living organism is a self contained entity which uses ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for metabolism and synthesizes ATP with enzymes which are synthesized from a genetic process requiring the transfer of information from DNA to RNA.

This is a terrible definition of life; rather it's an observation of features of most known life. A good definition of life would describe what life is, not select a bunch of features of known life and anoint them as the holy trinity of life-ness.

Let us suppose that we travel to the planet Delton-Four and there discover "plants" that grow in sunlight and "animals" with fur and wings and teeth and legs that move around and eat the "plants". Would you not call this life? I would. In fact, I'd say it's a lot more unambiguously life than some things your definition includes. Yet, if this new "life" uses PNA instead of DNA or carries energy on TTP or synthesizes directly from DNA or uses a sDNA intermediate instead of an sRNA intermediate then you'll declare it "not life".

A poor definition indeed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 11-12-2015 10:32 AM AlphaOmegakid has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 146 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-01-2015 12:33 PM Dr Jack has replied

  
AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 2113 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 146 of 374 (773419)
12-01-2015 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 145 by Dr Jack
12-01-2015 11:20 AM


Mercy Me!
Mr J writes:

rather it's an observation of features of most known life. A good definition of life would describe what life is..

Seems to me that's exactly what a good scientific definition would be

Mr J writes:

Let us suppose that we travel to the planet Delton-Four and there discover "plants" that grow in sunlight and "animals" with fur and wings and teeth and legs that move around and eat the "plants". Would you not call this life? I would. In fact, I'd say it's a lot more unambiguously life than some things your definition includes. Yet, if this new "life" uses PNA instead of DNA or carries energy on TTP or synthesizes directly from DNA or uses a sDNA intermediate instead of an sRNA intermediate then you'll declare it "not life".

Well when you get there, let me know and we can write a paper on it. Why not suppose a planet where water is HeO2? Diamonds are made from lead? we would still call the diamonds and water, right? Do you see any difference in "supposing an imaginary" observation, and real observations? I guess not.

Mr J writes:

A poor definition indeed.


So a good definition is based on imaginary observations and a poor definition is based on actual observation? Wait , that's mom calling from Delton-Four, I'll have to call you back. LOL

Edited by AlphaOmegakid, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by Dr Jack, posted 12-01-2015 11:20 AM Dr Jack has replied

Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 19528
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 147 of 374 (773420)
12-01-2015 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by AlphaOmegakid
12-01-2015 12:33 PM


Re: Mercy Me!
AlphaOmegakid writes:

Do you see any difference in "supposing an imaginary" observation, and real observations?


A good definition, like a good theory, should be able to accommodate new information. A good definition of life should predict what we "might" find on other planets, not just what we have already found in our own back yard.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-01-2015 12:33 PM AlphaOmegakid has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 148 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-01-2015 1:51 PM ringo has replied

  
AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 2113 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 148 of 374 (773423)
12-01-2015 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 147 by ringo
12-01-2015 12:40 PM


Re: Mercy Me!
Ringo writes:

A good definition, like a good theory, should be able to accommodate new information.

I have no problem with that. Evo theory is a good example of modifying the theory to accommodating evidence. But the observations come first before the modifications.

We don't say "on planet XYZ we can imagine organisms that evolve by non-genetic processes" and then accept that into the theory.

ringo writes:

A good definition of life should predict what we "might" find on other planets, not just what we have already found in our own back yard.

My definition makes excellent predictions regarding life on other planets. There is no observational reasons to suggest any other form of life. We certainly can imagine all we want to. But that's not "science". It's Pseudo science.

All panspermia hypotheses predict life on other planets as being similar to ours. Cellular based with amino acids and living according to my definition. What do you think they are looking for on Mars?...Cellular life or evidence therof.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by ringo, posted 12-01-2015 12:40 PM ringo has replied

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NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 149 of 374 (773429)
12-01-2015 3:09 PM
Reply to: Message 148 by AlphaOmegakid
12-01-2015 1:51 PM


Re: Mercy Me!
We don't say "on planet XYZ we can imagine organisms that evolve by non-genetic processes" and then accept that into the theory.

That's because a theory is not the same thing as a definition.

If you want to construct a theory about what constitutes life, that's fine. But your theory won't necessarily be a definition.

If we are searching for life on planet X, should we limit our definition of life to only things that are just like living things we find on earth? Explain why such a thing would be reasonable, because the idea seems counter intuitive.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 12-01-2015 1:51 PM AlphaOmegakid has taken no action

  
AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 2113 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 150 of 374 (773440)
12-01-2015 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by Percy
12-01-2015 10:48 AM


Re: Black White or Grey?
Percy writes:

What just isn't so?

You said "You're attempting to create a definition where everything is either living or dead with no shades of gray in between."

That just isn't so. I clearly identified entities in the grey area. You are just unhappy, because I don't call them alive. If they are not alive, then they are dead. You and RAZD want the grey area to be living. Then you must decide your definition of life and the differentiation between life and death. And both must make sense.

Percy writes:

That's it? Just blindly declare it a faith-based premise and be done with it?

No. I said a lot more than that which you ignored. Read it again.

Percy writes:

Chemicals don't have "organization, architecture or shape"?


You've got to be kidding, Right?

Don't you realize that every atom, molecule, and chemical combination has an architecture or shape associated with it? In particular, proteins must be folded to have the right shape to become either cellular tissue or enzymes. you can have misfolded proteins and they won't catalyze anything. They will have the exact same chemistry, but will not form the right tissue or catalyze the chemical reactions they are responsible for. A misfolded protein is usually a disease.

Yes, Percy, organization, shape, and or architecture are very important in living things and it is not just chemicals doing their stuff.

Percy writes:

Chemicals aren't subject to "electromagnetic radiation, and gravity.


So you don't think heat and light affect chemical reactions? Would you like to research this a little before I embarrass you? And gravity also?

Yes, much of life is chemical, and all of life is physical, but life is more than just chemical processes.

Edited by AlphaOmegakid, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by Percy, posted 12-01-2015 10:48 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 151 by Genomicus, posted 12-01-2015 6:44 PM AlphaOmegakid has taken no action
 Message 152 by Tanypteryx, posted 12-01-2015 8:03 PM AlphaOmegakid has replied
 Message 153 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-01-2015 11:01 PM AlphaOmegakid has taken no action
 Message 155 by Percy, posted 12-02-2015 7:11 AM AlphaOmegakid has replied

  
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