And then the virus enters another cell and is alive again? Really?
Yes, really. That's exactly what we observe!
No, that's not what we observe. That's what you claim according to your own private definition. You're not going to have much luck selling a definition where biological agents move back and forth between living and non-living.
Ok, I see where the confusion lies. The virus that enters the cell is not the same as the viruses that leave the cell. These are different entities. "offspring" so to speak. So, No, the same entity that infects the cell is basically destroyed and the new virions are released. It is not that a virus is moving back and forth between living and non-living.
So let me clarify, so that hopefully everyone understands. I have a previous post on this to RAZD. A virion (virus) is non-living by my definition. The infected host cell is alive. The host cell has living tissue within it. Viruses are replicating and assembling inside the host cell. Therefore, they are part of the cell and are alive during this period by my definition. Once the virions are released by the cell, they are non-living entities, but they are not the same entity that infected the original host cell. They are it's "offspring". Some viruses live inside cells a long time before they cause significant damage.
Then it wasn't the first life, because God was already a life.
Sure philosophically, but not scientifically. Scientifically and Biologically, life must be defined in natural terms which I have done. This doesn't necessarily apply to a different philosophical discussion or logic where life may be defined differently.
Not all of us in this world accept the strict philosophical naturalism that underpins science. Some of us can accept both natural and supernatural explanations of cause and affect. But that's another forum.
Wrong. Just like the with the gradient I posted, you can clearly see that one edge is white and the other edge is black, but it is impossible to determine where white stops and black starts.
This is getting really old, and I feel bad every time I do this. Your statement contradicts itself. Open your eyes and let the light in.
You just said that we can "clearly see that one edge is white and the other edge is black". Cat Sci I agree 100%. That edge is the line of demarcation. It starts and/or ends there. The in-between is some shade of grey. I also agree 100%. Therefore, if the black and white edge are clear, then the start of grey on both side is equally as clear. Open your eyes and listen to the words you write.
I know you guys have been in these forums a long time, and that causes "group thinking". This comes from an incorrect emotional appeal to your psyche. However, you can logically overcome this.
You just said that we can "clearly see that one edge is white and the other edge is black". Cat Sci I agree 100%. That edge is the line of demarcation. It starts and/or ends there. The in-between is some shade of grey. I also agree 100%. Therefore, if the black and white edge are clear, then the start of grey on both side is equally as clear.
Wrong. There is no clear line where the white edge turns into grey.
Wrong. There is no clear line where the white edge turns into grey.
Sure there is, and here is the proof. If you take the image as given with the left side clearly being white as you say and have agreed. And you then extend the left side out to infinity with white only, then the edge of white and grey will still be there. It hasn't moved.
I can keep repeating this as long as you like, just like you keep repeating your contradictory argument. It will get us no where. I don't do this to convince the "group thinkers". I Know it is very rare to change one of their minds. I do this for the visitors who peak in.
And you then extend the left side out to infinity with white only, then the edge of white and grey will still be there. It hasn't moved.
WTF are you talking about? Extend the left side to infinity?
Do you not understand what a continuum is? There is a graphic representation with white on one side and black on the other and varying shades of gray in between.
You keep insisting that we are saying that everything is either on one side or the other, but that is not what we are saying.
Your definition for life is clearly wrong to all of us, because it does not take into account viruses which are much closer to living than non-living and some of us consider them to be living, even though they belong to a different domain of life.
What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python
One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie
If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy
Yours, and others claims of my definition as being arbitrary are false. Please Identify how my definition meets any part of the definition of being arbitrary.
I will give you an example to explain why we are saying your line is arbitrary. Let me propose a new, unequivocal definition for life:
Life; living = organisms that are made up of cells that are differentiated into tissues and that possess a digestive cavity that is lined with specialized cells (so only metazoans are alive)
Objections? You might say that the definition does not include all known life such as protozoans and bacteria.
But I would respond that protozoans and bacteria are not alive according to my definition and therefore are not part of all known life.
Why is this definition wrong?
Or how about a different definition...
Life; living = any assemblage of chemicals that can grow and multiply.
Objections? You might say that this definition includes things we know are not alive such as crystals.
But I could respond that according to the definition, they ARE alive and thus the unequivocal position is that crystals are alive.
Why is drawing the lines where I did any less arbitrary than drawing them any where else?
So... back to a more reasonable scale. Why do you not draw the line between life and non-life so that viruses are included in the life category? Is ATP really the true indicator that something is alive and how do you know? Because all known life uses ATP? Maybe, but before you can use the reasoning "all know life" you must first decide what is alive BEFORE you can formulate the definition, so the definition isn't what defines life but it is the criteria used before creating the definition. That is a tautology.
So Biologists will be sticking with the standard definition and they will continue to recognize that there are organism that do not fit neatly into the definition.
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 is a general, overarching reply because I think this discussion has taken a pedantic twist in the sense that it's becoming a back and forth match where the same points are being repeated ad nauseum.
And these points should be repeated ad nauseum, because AOk has -- if s/he has done anything -- demonstrated a gap in knowledge when it comes to chemistry and biology (very specific errors having been pointed out by MrJack and Tanypteryx).
The accusation of "groupthink" may be hurled at me at this point, but keep in mind that my views are quite non-conformist compared to the views of most members of this forum.
With this preamble being made, here's the thing: AOk, your definition and main argument is simply not very useful and also dances dangerously close to committing the reification fallacy. "Life" is an abstraction; reality -- the mesmerizing and intricate interaction between matter and energy (with a dash of anti-matter, etc.) does not really care what we call or label a certain portion of the chemical and physical universe. Reality needs not -- and it does not -- nicely fit into absolute boundaries.
So a definition for "life" should not seek to be absolute. It should, instead, seek to be pragmatic. AOk's parochial definition of what constitutes life is simply a personal opinion -- there's no reason why the field of biology (as a whole) should adopt this non-utilitarian view of what life is.
Now, since any good, scientific definition of "life" should strive to be useful in some sense, this also means that different (but largely overlapping) definitions of life will emerge. This is not a problem; definitions, in science anyway, are not intended to exist to score rhetorical points in a broader metaphysical debate.
For example, why does AOk not simply define life as self-replicating polynucleotides? The utter dismissal of defining life in this manner suggests to me that there is a clear agenda for adopting and asserting his or her chosen definition of life.
Others here have offered different definitions of life. That is all fine and good: the point is that each definition will reflect the particular research foci of different scientific and technological fields (AI, nanotechnology, molecular biology, and chemistry -- for instance -- would each have slightly varying definitions of life). Why should any scientific field favor AOk's definition over other (arguably less parochial) definitions?
Nor is this about somehow playing a rhetorical game so that abiogenesis is more realistic. Whether you define "life" as self-replicating polynucleotides or use AOk's definition, the arguments for abiogenesis do not change (of course, those familiar with my history on this forum will know that I very strongly question the validity of abiogenic hypotheses, but that's tangential).
So, go ahead, AOk. What's special about your definition? Why is your definition superior to other definitions for what constitutes life?
Here's a definition of life that I find more useful -- why do you think yours is more useful?
Living systems tend to have (a) continual integrity of overall structure amid ceaseless chemical change, with self-preservation through up-building of subsystems to compensate for down-breaking; (b) a metabolism that harnesses energy in an organized manner; (c) growth; (d) multiplication; (e) development; (f) evolvability, as a part of a greater population of similar units.