Good thinking. Here’s the fundamental difference between the two. We can’t experiment on a one time event. However, if life evolved from non-life in the past, it should still be able to do so now, right?
Under some conditions, and under some time frame measured in eons, and in some environment or sequences of environments. Can all of those things be reproduced? We have only guesses about some of those things.
Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison.
I’m not the only one who thinks viruses are non-living, ringo
Is that really the point? If viruses are non-living does that mean that they aren't part of the evolutionary pathway to life?
I'm sure that when you did your search, you cherry picked away references such as the ones I've listed below. No you aren't wrong for saying that viruses are not alive, at least when they aren't attacking a cell, but as ringo pointed out the gulf between living and not is not as wide as you are trying to imply.
quote:Viruses exist in two distinct states. When not in contact with a host cell, the virus remains entirely dormant. During this time there are no internal biological activities occurring within the virus, and in essence the virus is no more than a static organic particle. In this simple, clearly non-living state viruses are referred to as 'virions'. Virions can remain in this dormant state for extended periods of time, waiting patiently to come into contact with the appropriate host. When the virion comes into contact with the appropriate host, it becomes active and is then referred to as a virus. It now displays properties typified by living organisms, such as reacting to its environment and directing its efforts toward self-replication"
quote:First seen as poisons, then as life-forms, then biological chemicals, viruses today are thought of as being in a gray area between living and nonliving: they cannot replicate on their own but can do so in truly living cells and can also affect the behavior of their hosts profoundly. The categorization of viruses as nonliving during much of the modern era of biological science has had an unintended consequence: it has led most researchers to ignore viruses in the study of evolution. Finally, however, scientists are beginning to appreciate viruses as fundamental players in the history of life.