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Thread: Life

  1. #1 Life 
    Forum Junior SolomonGrundy's Avatar
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    There is no universal definition of life; there are a variety of definitions proposed by different scientists. To define life in unequivocal terms is still a challenge for scientists.
    What life means to you?


    Solomon Grundy
    In 1944, this creature rose from the swamp, with tremendous strength and some dormant memories that for example allowed him to speak English, but not knowing what he was, and not remembering Cyrus Gold or his fate. Wandering throughout the swamp, he encountered two escaped criminals, killed them, and took their clothes. When they asked him his name, he simply muttered that he had been born on Monday. Reminded of an old nursery rhyme about a man born on Monday, the thugs named the creature "Solomon Grundy".
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  3. #2  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    In scientific terms, life to me is a sentient form of some kind that quests for surivial-plants and animals alike, they are obviously different from carbon and gold. Life is that which well, lives! Breathes, eats, excretes, reproduces, not neccesarily in that order .

    In a philosophical standpoint I believe life is about helping others, learning as much as you can and passing it to the next generation, by becoming really good, the next generation can be too.


    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  4. #3  
    Forum Junior SolomonGrundy's Avatar
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    i see
    Solomon Grundy
    In 1944, this creature rose from the swamp, with tremendous strength and some dormant memories that for example allowed him to speak English, but not knowing what he was, and not remembering Cyrus Gold or his fate. Wandering throughout the swamp, he encountered two escaped criminals, killed them, and took their clothes. When they asked him his name, he simply muttered that he had been born on Monday. Reminded of an old nursery rhyme about a man born on Monday, the thugs named the creature "Solomon Grundy".
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  5. #4  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    life - don't talk to me about life (marvin the paranoid android)
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  6. #5  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I suspect life is one of those things that is best not defined in science but in philosophy. Science should just get on with studying it: the absence of a definition does not prevent us from recognising it when we see it.
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  7. #6  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Science should just get on with studying it: the absence of a definition does not prevent us from recognising it when we see it.
    except of course in exobiology - our current parochial and ad hoc definition of life might prevent us from recognising it IF it exists and it is totally different from life on earth
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  8. #7  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I think that is one of the reasons I am somewhat reluctant to attempt a definition of life. Since it will tend to be influenced by what we are familiar with it could restrict our ability to recognise truly different lifeforms.

    Worse yet, when we encounter a life form of radical character we might spend time arguing whether or not it met our criteria for life, rather than getting on with studying it.

    As an example, I think one can learn a great deal about viruses without ever bothering to decide whether they are life or not.
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  9. #8  
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    the problem here is simply the way we categorize.
    life and non-life. life isn't binary 1 or 0.
    so, introducing the life-o-meter, on the very bottom, theres completely dead, ice-cold space rock. and at the top, sentient, self-aware beings!
    in the future, i believe the boundaries between life, death and unliving is going to be truly pushed around, as medical "miracles" allows us to resurrect people, at longer and longer durations from being dead.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    so, introducing the life-o-meter, on the very bottom, theres completely dead, ice-cold space rock. and at the top, sentient, self-aware beings!
    As a geologist and keen amateur astronomer (armchair variety) I would have to put the space rocks on top. :wink:
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  11. #10  
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    Life must follow these 7 conditions:
    1. Reproduce
    2. Organization
    3. Metabolism
    4. Growth
    5. Adaptation
    6. Respond to Stimulus
    7. Maintain homostatisis.
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  12. #11  
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    Why need it reproduce? Can you envisage a living organism that does not die? It would not need to reproduce.
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  13. #12  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Why need it reproduce? Can you envisage a living organism that does not die? It would not need to reproduce.
    So I wonder what turn humankind will face if it finds the secret of immortality and how we will continue to exist. That would be an new interesting angle on life of sentient beings, that is if we are classed as sentient by another intelligent species other than humans :|.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  14. #13  
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    I can envision an organism obtaining eternal youth. Some trees can live to be up to 5,500 years. However, to not die, well that is impossible. Even diamonds can be destroyed.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Junior SolomonGrundy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeptuneCircle
    I can envision an organism obtaining eternal youth. Some trees can live to be up to 5,500 years. However, to not die, well that is impossible. Even diamonds can be destroyed.
    If there is life humans make up death to define life ...
    Solomon Grundy
    In 1944, this creature rose from the swamp, with tremendous strength and some dormant memories that for example allowed him to speak English, but not knowing what he was, and not remembering Cyrus Gold or his fate. Wandering throughout the swamp, he encountered two escaped criminals, killed them, and took their clothes. When they asked him his name, he simply muttered that he had been born on Monday. Reminded of an old nursery rhyme about a man born on Monday, the thugs named the creature "Solomon Grundy".
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  16. #15  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    so if there's life before death, what comes before life ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  17. #16  
    Forum Junior SolomonGrundy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    so if there's life before death, what comes before life ?
    an egg
    hahahaha
    Solomon Grundy
    In 1944, this creature rose from the swamp, with tremendous strength and some dormant memories that for example allowed him to speak English, but not knowing what he was, and not remembering Cyrus Gold or his fate. Wandering throughout the swamp, he encountered two escaped criminals, killed them, and took their clothes. When they asked him his name, he simply muttered that he had been born on Monday. Reminded of an old nursery rhyme about a man born on Monday, the thugs named the creature "Solomon Grundy".
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolomonGrundy
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    so if there's life before death, what comes before life ?
    an egg
    hahahaha
    And before that a trip to the supermarket no doubt! hahahahaha
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  19. #18  
    Forum Junior SolomonGrundy's Avatar
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    Traditionally, people have divided organisms into the classes of plants and animals, based mainly on their ability of movement.

    Life is a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects, i.e. non-life, and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally
    Solomon Grundy
    In 1944, this creature rose from the swamp, with tremendous strength and some dormant memories that for example allowed him to speak English, but not knowing what he was, and not remembering Cyrus Gold or his fate. Wandering throughout the swamp, he encountered two escaped criminals, killed them, and took their clothes. When they asked him his name, he simply muttered that he had been born on Monday. Reminded of an old nursery rhyme about a man born on Monday, the thugs named the creature "Solomon Grundy".
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  20. #19  
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    Where did you copy that from?
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  21. #20  
    Forum Junior SolomonGrundy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    Where did you copy that from?
    Is an argument to what is .we are using The internet now no?
    Solomon Grundy
    In 1944, this creature rose from the swamp, with tremendous strength and some dormant memories that for example allowed him to speak English, but not knowing what he was, and not remembering Cyrus Gold or his fate. Wandering throughout the swamp, he encountered two escaped criminals, killed them, and took their clothes. When they asked him his name, he simply muttered that he had been born on Monday. Reminded of an old nursery rhyme about a man born on Monday, the thugs named the creature "Solomon Grundy".
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  22. #21  
    Forum Professor Obviously's Avatar
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    Life: Something that contains DNA/RNA or other sequences of genes, which creates a necessity for survival.

    Not entirely wrong, right?
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  23. #22  
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    Metabolize, reproduce, and evolve. But that is only a characterization of life on earth and we are but a microcosm, virtually an infinitesimal incident in a universal sea of possibilities. Each of these however is a reflection of a more fundamental property of matter: that of Emergence, whereby the whole exhibits qualities which are qualitatively different than the properties of its parts.

    Life, in my opinion, is a particular instantiation of Emergence; the inconsequential trappings of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics only convenient exoskeletons du jour: They say if you write all the equations of mathematical physics on strips of paper and scatter them across the kitchen floor they won't get up and dance. I say if the strips behaved in the same non-linear fashion as a dancer, they would.

    From this perspective, life becomes a property of dynamics, independent of genomes, proteins, metabolism, and natural selection . . . marbles would do.
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  24. #23  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i've said it before and i'll say it again : life is descent with modification, nothing more nothing less
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  25. #24  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    i've said it before and i'll say it again : life is descent with modification, nothing more nothing less
    Life as we know it, Jim.
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  26. #25  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    i've said it before and i'll say it again : life is descent with modification, nothing more nothing less
    Life as we know it, Jim.
    since that goes without saying, i left it unsaid 8)
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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