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Author Topic:   Definition of Life
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Message 57 of 77 (357916)
10-21-2006 8:31 AM

How about: "life as distinct from existence is a myth?" or:
Life: "That which has not yet been destroyed by chaos: the (increasingly diverse) results of continuous accidental experiments in stability?"

The advent of reproduction is a significant step in this increasing stability, but I feel that non-reproductive stability is usually excluded from definitions of life because "alive" is deemed to require complex activity. Perhaps these are prejudices that we use to separate ourselves from other stable forms of energy.

Am I alive? Are my cells alive? Are their organelles alive and are the molecules they are made of alive? I feel the question is ultimately about self-perception. I must be alive - surely? I hope I am, but that doesn't really help the debate.

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Inactive Member

Message 61 of 77 (364273)
11-17-2006 2:14 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by RAZD
10-21-2006 9:51 AM

Re: a thin line?
Thank you. Its a great forum.
Perhaps the line of stability is the line between organising life and disorganising matter

Stability is relative, so perhaps life is too - eg I am more alive than my cells, atoms are more stable (alive?!) than protons, etc?

This thought process is under development.


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 Message 62 by Jon, posted 11-18-2006 3:46 AM 42 has responded

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Message 63 of 77 (364498)
11-18-2006 4:05 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by Jon
11-18-2006 3:46 AM

Re: a thin line?
it would seem that my atoms are MUCH more durable than myself

Yes that's hard to disagree with... Perhaps if we consider the life form (species) rather than the individual: a species of bacteria lasts longer than each individual, so the form has stability provided by reproduction; so reproduction is one method of gaining stability (of the form). I'm not sure of my facts, but I'm guessing that: at the atom level, individual protons are less prone to being reduced to quarks and anihilating when they are hiding inside atoms, as are quarks inside protons. I know it's a different type of stability but is it not these layers of stability that build up to produce the complexity we call life?

I'm not at all sure, so glad to be learning from this forum. All the best.

Edited by 42, : Messed up the quoting

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Inactive Member

Message 66 of 77 (364968)
11-20-2006 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by Dr Adequate
11-18-2006 7:18 AM

Re: a thin line?
Thank you. I thought neutrons and protons were more similar than they are!
All the best.

Human Evolution in 42 Steps

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