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  1. #1 functions 
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    what are the basic functions example eating,excretion,inhale etc common to all living organisms


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    It's really hard to define functions common to ALL organisms. These are the first two things that come to mind, though:

    1. Cellular respiration.
    2. Excretion


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  4. #3  
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    How about:

    Respiration
    Excretion
    Interact with environmemt
    Reproduce
    Grow
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    Quote Originally Posted by TicoSox
    How about:

    Respiration
    Excretion
    Interact with environmemt
    Reproduce
    Grow
    Reproduce is not one. Mules, for example, are sterile.

    And I don't think I'd say grow... "develop" would be more like it.
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  6. #5  
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    There has to be a design to reproduce, which mules have. Mules are hybrids and therefore not a species, they can't reproduce, but they are alive. Rocks develop too, they change shape and eventually turn into sand, I don't think that is a good criterium. Mountains and rivers develop...
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    Quote Originally Posted by TicoSox
    There has to be a design to reproduce, which mules have. Mules are hybrids and therefore not a species, they can't reproduce, but they are alive. Rocks develop too, they change shape and eventually turn into sand, I don't think that is a good criterium. Mountains and rivers develop...
    I would agree to the "design to reproduce", but reproduction is still not a universal characteristic to all living things. Many birds have a "design to fly", but can't; you wouldn't say flying is a function in all birds.

    And he was asking for functions that living things have. It doesn't matter if other things have one or two of those characteristics (many man-made things interact with their environment, for example). That's one of the reason for the disagreement over whether viruses are living things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    And I don't think I'd say grow... "develop" would be more like it.
    Does a bacterium that's just been formed by binary fission develop? In this case, I think 'grow' would be a better term, if it does indeed increase in size after being produced (I don't know).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chemboy
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    And I don't think I'd say grow... "develop" would be more like it.
    Does a bacterium that's just been formed by binary fission develop? In this case, I think 'grow' would be a better term, if it does indeed increase in size after being produced (I don't know).
    The word "develop" encompasses the word "grow", so growth would be a form of development.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TicoSox
    Rocks develop too, they change shape and eventually turn into sand, I don't think that is a good criterium. .
    Rocks do not develop. Find me a single example in a geology text book, or research paper where the author speaks of rocks developing. It is just not a term that is applicable to rocks - and terminology, an artificial construct, is what we are talking about here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by TicoSox
    There has to be a design to reproduce, which mules have. Mules are hybrids and therefore not a species, they can't reproduce, but they are alive. Rocks develop too, they change shape and eventually turn into sand, I don't think that is a good criterium. Mountains and rivers develop...
    I would agree to the "design to reproduce", but reproduction is still not a universal characteristic to all living things. Many birds have a "design to fly", but can't; you wouldn't say flying is a function in all birds.
    Good point. Living populations may be said to be designed to reproduce, but not necessarily individuals, ergo, it would be difficult to classify an entity as 'alive' if you used reproduction, or even 'designed for reproduction' as a criterion.

    Don't believe me? Think about the social insects - all those sterile workers, deliberately designed to not reproduce. Yet it would be hard to deny a worker bee or a soldier ant the right to be called alive.
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    I agree, some of my points don't really make sense. I agree, rocks do not develop, they change, as does everything. But reproduction is one of the things that distinguishes us from non-living things (maybe not on a individual basis), although some shapes in clay and rivers reproduce. The shapes wouldn't have been there if the first shape wasn't there... It is just really hard to find good criteria that define living things from non-living things, still, intuitively we know. I think our semantics just don't allow us to make a good definition of it, while in our brain with all the combined processes we know. It just cannot be captured in words. It is based upon observation, education, experience...

    Not sure of this is helpful. I am also not sure what the initial post was looking for; what was meant with "functions"?
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    to define the functions of life is sort of like defining life, which has long been a nearly impossible thing to do with any certainty. however, following the rough guidelines that are most commonly used, I would say that most living organisms exhibit homeostasis (regulation of the internal environment), metabolism (using energy to break down and build up organic molecules), growth (maintenance of a higher rate of synthesis than catalysis), and response to stimuli.
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    If this is a middle/high school (not advanced pl. biology) homework assignment, I'd say:

    1. Grow/develop
    2. Reproduce
    3. Respire (respiration)
    4. Respond to stimuli
    5. Feed
    6. Excrete/give off waste material

    Some add "die" as a 7th function.

    That's the typical middle/high school textbook definition (that I don't agree with, btw.)
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    If this is a middle/high school (not advanced pl. biology) homework assignment, I'd say:

    1. Grow/develop
    2. Reproduce
    3. Respire (respiration)
    4. Respond to stimuli
    5. Feed
    6. Excrete/give off waste material

    Some add "die" as a 7th function.

    That's the typical middle/high school textbook definition (that I don't agree with, btw.)
    I don't think it can be said that plants "Feed," there needs to be a more general term for the..."utilization of absorbed/ingested materials"...whatever you want to call it. (note: I did take note of what scientstphilosophertheist said in the last line, this isn't an attack on him)

    oh yeah, and "die" made me laugh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chemboy
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    If this is a middle/high school (not advanced pl. biology) homework assignment, I'd say:

    1. Grow/develop
    2. Reproduce
    3. Respire (respiration)
    4. Respond to stimuli
    5. Feed
    6. Excrete/give off waste material

    Some add "die" as a 7th function.

    That's the typical middle/high school textbook definition (that I don't agree with, btw.)
    I don't think it can be said that plants "Feed," there needs to be a more general term for the..."utilization of absorbed/ingested materials"...whatever you want to call it. (note: I did take note of what scientstphilosophertheist said in the last line, this isn't an attack on him)
    Hmm... yea, I think some books put "nutrition" instead of "feeding".

    Quote Originally Posted by Chemboy
    oh yeah, and "die" made me laugh.
    lol
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Hmm... yea, I think some books put "nutrition" instead of "feeding".
    yeah, I think nutrition is a good way to say it.
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    I agree with homeostasis and metabolism (which for me includes to ingest nutrition and to excrete).
    But I also think self-induced movement is also important. Be it a single cell or a whole multicellular body. Maybe you can count that to reacting to stimuli.
    And I also agree to growth.
    -So I agree with paralith.

    But I also think that it is definitely reproduction which is a function of life. There would certainly be no reason for the existence of homeostasis and metabolism and growth of a cell or organism if there wasn't the drive to bring forth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mastermind
    But I also think self-induced movement is also important. Be it a single cell or a whole multicellular body. Maybe you can count that to reacting to stimuli.
    I think 'reacting to stimuli' is more correct that 'self-induced movement' (actually, I think "locomotion" should be substituted for movement in any case), mainly due to the fact that plants don't locomote but do react to stimuli.
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    Yeah I think locomotion is a good term.
    However, growing is a kind of locomotion - so plants do locomote, too!
    And at least the cells of the plant locomote.

    And definitely reproduction, as I wrote.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mastermind
    Yeah I think locomotion is a good term.
    However, growing is a kind of locomotion - so plants do locomote, too!
    And at least the cells of the plant locomote.

    And definitely reproduction, as I wrote.
    Growing is not a kind of locomotion. Locomotion is "the act or power of moving from place to place". Supposing the cells of the plant locomoted (which they don't), then they would locomote, but that doesn't mean the entire plant does, and thus plants do not locomote.
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  22. #21 Re: functions 
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    Quote Originally Posted by parag
    what are the basic functions example eating,excretion,inhale etc common to all living organisms
    Unfortunately your original statement contains errors to start with.

    Eating is not shared by all living organisms. Eating usually refers to ingestion from the mouth. Or enveloping of a food particle.

    Do plants eat?

    Excretion is also a dubious word. It can mean many things. Excretion is often associated with the expulsion of solid/semi-solid waste.

    Inhaling requires lungs. Only a few species currently alive have lungs.

    There is only one characteristic that all organisms share and that is replication with modification of descent.
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