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What is life?

Moroni23
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9/4/2011 3:42:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What is life?

I read an article from a modern day science magazine that talked about life on the cellular level. They explained that nobody can figure out what drives cells to do what they do, what gives cells themselves life? What makes cells work together in such a perfect manner that can drive the universe. Is it possible that cells are driven by a supreme being?

I find this interesting and id like to hear from you guys. What do you think life is, what do you think drives the cells? Atheists views and theists are both strongly encouraged.
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
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9/4/2011 3:46:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
From a scientific viewpoint, life is shown by signs of living organisms which
have metabolism, the capacity to grow, reproduce, respond to stimuli, adapt tot heir environment, and so on...http://en.wikipedia.org...

For more information, you can read http://www.sciencemag.org..., a special essay about the components of life, from a scientific viewpoint.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Moroni23
Posts: 235
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9/4/2011 3:49:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 3:46:18 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
From a scientific viewpoint, life is shown by signs of living organisms which
have metabolism, the capacity to grow, reproduce, respond to stimuli, adapt tot heir environment, and so on...http://en.wikipedia.org...

For more information, you can read http://www.sciencemag.org..., a special essay about the components of life, from a scientific viewpoint.

Right but what makes them move? What makes them work? What makes the mechanisms inside a cell work?
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
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9/4/2011 3:54:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 3:42:04 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
What is life?

I read an article from a modern day science magazine that talked about life on the cellular level. They explained that nobody can figure out what drives cells to do what they do, what gives cells themselves life? What makes cells work together in such a perfect manner that can drive the universe. Is it possible that cells are driven by a supreme being?

I do know that perhaps a part of the reason why cells perform specific function due to differentiation....After the union of the sperm and the egg, and the formation of the zygote, the newly-formed cell undergoes mitosis, called cleavage, and the individual cells that result from (possibly total) cleavage undergo differentiation...where the part of the cell becomes specialized.

During mitosis, all of the new daughter cells are the same...in DNA and in structure, &ct. (correct me if I am wrong)...It is responsible for dramatic changes in membrane structure, metabolic activity, and responsiveness to signals (such as cells becoming complex tissues) during the early stages of an organism....This allows cells to express certain parts of their genes that correlate to their activity...

Or maybe this isn't relevant to your questions...
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Moroni23
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9/4/2011 4:02:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 3:54:21 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
At 9/4/2011 3:42:04 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
What is life?

I read an article from a modern day science magazine that talked about life on the cellular level. They explained that nobody can figure out what drives cells to do what they do, what gives cells themselves life? What makes cells work together in such a perfect manner that can drive the universe. Is it possible that cells are driven by a supreme being?

I do know that perhaps a part of the reason why cells perform specific function due to differentiation....After the union of the sperm and the egg, and the formation of the zygote, the newly-formed cell undergoes mitosis, called cleavage, and the individual cells that result from (possibly total) cleavage undergo differentiation...where the part of the cell becomes specialized.

During mitosis, all of the new daughter cells are the same...in DNA and in structure, &ct. (correct me if I am wrong)...It is responsible for dramatic changes in membrane structure, metabolic activity, and responsiveness to signals (such as cells becoming complex tissues) during the early stages of an organism....This allows cells to express certain parts of their genes that correlate to their activity...

Or maybe this isn't relevant to your questions...

It's good information and its all part of cells being alive.... But it doesn't awnsers why, or how they are alive. What makes them alive. For instance one cell, perhaps the very first cell, what makes it move? What makes it alive. What makes it function.
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
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9/4/2011 4:03:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 3:49:37 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
Right but what makes them move?
I'm going to answer these questions to the best of my ability.

Regarding the first on, cell movement is governed by certain mechanisms. Note that organelles in the cell are protected by actin filaments that allow room for them to move, or perform what is known as "cytoplasmic streaming".

But the most important factor is the cytoskeleton, if I am correct. A network of connected filaments that maintain the cell's shape, the cytoskeleton allows the cell to move....Additional structures such as the cilia and flagella aid in the movement.

A more complete answer lies here. I apologize for giving you links to read, but my knowledge of biology is incomplete for now...According to the link, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov..., "...cell
movement can also be guided by purely physical interactions at the cell-substrate interface."

"The most significant finding in this study is that cultured
cells can guide their movement by probing the substrate
rigidity. As the leading edge crosses onto rigid substrates,
lamellipodia and lamella expand, leading to directed migration
onto the rigid substrate. Conversely, as the leading edge
approaches the soft side, local retractions take place, causing
the cell to change direction."

This is specific to certain cells...to cultured cells, in particular.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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9/4/2011 4:13:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Life is whatever you want it to be.

The questions is not "What is life?" but "What do we consider life and why?".

It seems to me that the whole idea is based off of an emotional reaction. We say that humans are alive, have consciousness and have free-will. But what is our standard for measuring any of these things? It seems to be based off of complexity. Go one step down from a human, an animal like a dog, and we say it is alive and has consciousness but does not have free-will. We go another step down, to a cell, and we say that it is alive but has no consciousness or free-will. We go down yet another step, the molecule, and say that is not even alive. But, again, just how exactly do we formulate these ideas? The molecule acts as a piece of a cell, reacting to stimuli, in the same way the cell acts as a part of the body and in the same way that the body acts as a part of the ecosystem. It is interesting then that we never consider the steps beyond ourselves, the ecosystem, the universe, having an additional dimensional of life than we do.

Philosophers have often come to the conclusion that the concept of free-will is completely imaginary, only a sensation. After all, how do we truly make choices for ourselves when our decisions are created through our brains which are created through our cells which are created through our molecules and so forth? It seems we are just another part in the grand system that turns about on it's own.

How is the concept of life any different? By what standard are we any more alive than a molecule? The only answer seems to be that we are more complex. But then why is the universe not alive?

It seems to me that these abstractions we have created, living and non-living, are illusionary. Either everything is alive, everything is conscious, everything has free-will, or none of it is any of those things.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Man-is-good
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9/4/2011 4:16:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 4:02:26 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
It's good information and its all part of cells being alive.... But it doesn't awnsers why, or how they are alive.
Why? The cell is a basic unit of life that plays an important role in metabolism...though I am not certain if that is an adequate answer.

As for how, cells do display signs of life: (1) Metabolism: cells have a number of inner processes: the creation of ribosomes in the nuclear envelope, the transport of substances through the membrane, the creation of proteins in the ribosomes, all of which, and more, constitute the chemical processes in a cell (2) the capacity to grow: Cell growth has been demonstrated, relative to cell division (which is asexual, and proof that cells 'reproduce' (3))...[1] http://en.wikipedia.org... (4) respond to stimuli-This has been demonstrated in cell irritability. (5) Adaptation to environment-Cases in cell biology demonstrate the changes in the cell to adverse environmental changes [2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Technically, cells do live by the standards I have given.

For instance one cell, perhaps the very first cell, what makes it move? What makes it alive. What makes it function.

I'll answer this later--if I can...
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
tkubok
Posts: 5,044
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9/4/2011 4:45:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 3:42:04 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
What is life?

I read an article from a modern day science magazine that talked about life on the cellular level. They explained that nobody can figure out what drives cells to do what they do, what gives cells themselves life? What makes cells work together in such a perfect manner that can drive the universe. Is it possible that cells are driven by a supreme being?

I find this interesting and id like to hear from you guys. What do you think life is, what do you think drives the cells? Atheists views and theists are both strongly encouraged.

By "Science magazine" I assume you mean one of the mainstream public opinion piece magazines like National Geographic. Those arent exactly science magazines, but rather, magazines about science.

No one can explain what drives gravity, either. Is it possible that Gravity is driven by invisible pixies?

Thats about as interesting as i find your problem, because it really isnt a problem at all. Thats like asking what drives a rock to be a rock.
tkubok
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9/4/2011 4:47:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 4:02:26 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
At 9/4/2011 3:54:21 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
At 9/4/2011 3:42:04 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
What is life?

I read an article from a modern day science magazine that talked about life on the cellular level. They explained that nobody can figure out what drives cells to do what they do, what gives cells themselves life? What makes cells work together in such a perfect manner that can drive the universe. Is it possible that cells are driven by a supreme being?

I do know that perhaps a part of the reason why cells perform specific function due to differentiation....After the union of the sperm and the egg, and the formation of the zygote, the newly-formed cell undergoes mitosis, called cleavage, and the individual cells that result from (possibly total) cleavage undergo differentiation...where the part of the cell becomes specialized.

During mitosis, all of the new daughter cells are the same...in DNA and in structure, &ct. (correct me if I am wrong)...It is responsible for dramatic changes in membrane structure, metabolic activity, and responsiveness to signals (such as cells becoming complex tissues) during the early stages of an organism....This allows cells to express certain parts of their genes that correlate to their activity...

Or maybe this isn't relevant to your questions...

It's good information and its all part of cells being alive.... But it doesn't awnsers why, or how they are alive. What makes them alive. For instance one cell, perhaps the very first cell, what makes it move? What makes it alive. What makes it function.

Answer:

Chemical reactions within the cell cause it to make it move. Its need to metabolize in order to continue that reaction, makes it alive. And chemical reactions make it function.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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9/4/2011 4:59:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 3:49:37 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
At 9/4/2011 3:46:18 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
From a scientific viewpoint, life is shown by signs of living organisms which
have metabolism, the capacity to grow, reproduce, respond to stimuli, adapt tot heir environment, and so on...http://en.wikipedia.org...

For more information, you can read http://www.sciencemag.org..., a special essay about the components of life, from a scientific viewpoint.

Right but what makes them move? What makes them work? What makes the mechanisms inside a cell work?

You could ask those same questions about the Supreme Being. The answer would be, that's just their nature whether it be God or conscious matter. Rather than positing an extra unnecessary entity such as God, it'd be better to conclude that there is a conscious Universe.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
mattrodstrom
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9/4/2011 5:27:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 4:59:31 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
it'd be better to conclude that there is a conscious Universe.

what is with you and your favorite god?

are you on this again or is it just a suggestion for an 'improvement' upon that god he has?
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Moroni23
Posts: 235
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9/4/2011 6:30:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 4:45:03 PM, tkubok wrote:

That's about as interesting as I find your problem, because it really isn't a problem at all. That's like asking what drives a rock to be a rock.

No actually its not. A rock is a rock, it sites there and it does nothing. Everything we know about life boils down into a cell, cells are what drive are existence. I'm not talking about a rock sitting in your front yard, I'm talking about the driving life force inside of every living entity on earth.

Apparently I am not expressing the question well enough for people to understand, because nearly all of you are giving completely irrelevant awnsers. I'm not asking why a cell can move from point A to point B. I'm asking what is making the little gizmos inside of a cell operate. What is causing the cell to perform its functions, what is driving the cell to be a cell. GeoLaureate is the only one who offered a reasonable explanation. A conscious universe.

Either their is a God out there who is responsible for all these miraculous things, or the Universe is alive on its own, dose that make the universe a God? A supreme being?
hotdog
Posts: 44
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9/5/2011 1:55:25 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 3:42:04 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
What is life?

I read an article from a modern day science magazine that talked about life on the cellular level. They explained that nobody can figure out what drives cells to do what they do, what gives cells themselves life? What makes cells work together in such a perfect manner that can drive the universe. Is it possible that cells are driven by a supreme being?

I find this interesting and id like to hear from you guys. What do you think life is, what do you think drives the cells? Atheists views and theists are both strongly encouraged.

Good post - very interesting topic.

Science knows that life is not a piece of matter. Life is more like a wave than a particle. Life is a process - its a dynamic phenomenon. In fact movement is one of the defining features of life. Autonomous movement. Life is a system. A combination of parts working together for the benefit of the whole.

Theists would define life as being synonymous with the soul or consciousness. They would also say the soul is a form of energy. Conscious energy. So, it is a combination of material energy and life energy that drives or powers the cells.

As for the supreme being driving the cells - that's an interesting idea - this is from Bhagavad Gita (India's bible)

"The Supreme Lord dwells in everyone's heart. He is directing the movements of all living beings, who are seated on a bodily machine made of material energy."
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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9/5/2011 2:12:42 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 3:42:04 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
What is life?

I read an article from a modern day science magazine that talked about life on the cellular level. They explained that nobody can figure out what drives cells to do what they do, what gives cells themselves life? What makes cells work together in such a perfect manner that can drive the universe. Is it possible that cells are driven by a supreme being?

I find this interesting and id like to hear from you guys. What do you think life is, what do you think drives the cells? Atheists views and theists are both strongly encouraged.

Life is a more complex reaction of physics than non-life. There is significantly less "junk data" in life. Truly though, there really isn't much that separates life from non-life. These are man made barriers.

So fundamentally, it is physics that drives cells to do what they do. There is nothing in cellular behavior that violates causality. For it to do so, it would have to be supernatural, and that by definition is absurd.

Chaos makes all of these miraculous things possible.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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9/5/2011 3:18:56 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 3:42:04 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
What is life?

I read an article from a modern day science magazine that talked about life on the cellular level. They explained that nobody can figure out what drives cells to do what they do, what gives cells themselves life? What makes cells work together in such a perfect manner that can drive the universe. Is it possible that cells are driven by a supreme being?

I find this interesting and id like to hear from you guys. What do you think life is, what do you think drives the cells? Atheists views and theists are both strongly encouraged.

God of the gaps... and a gap that probably does not even exist. What was this science magazine?
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Moroni23
Posts: 235
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9/5/2011 4:07:40 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/5/2011 3:18:56 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 9/4/2011 3:42:04 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
What is life?

I read an article from a modern day science magazine that talked about life on the cellular level. They explained that nobody can figure out what drives cells to do what they do, what gives cells themselves life? What makes cells work together in such a perfect manner that can drive the universe. Is it possible that cells are driven by a supreme being?

I find this interesting and id like to hear from you guys. What do you think life is, what do you think drives the cells? Atheists views and theists are both strongly encouraged.

God of the gaps... and a gap that probably does not even exist. What was this science magazine?

I don't remember dude it was actualy an article we had to write after reading it for my Anatomy and Physiology class. I had a really intereisting teacher who was presedent of the Atheist club, my favorite teacher of all time actualy. He had respect for theists and there beliefs, however he was always open for a debate. If you really want to know im sure i could go back and ask him, you'd have to give me a few days though.
Moroni23
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9/5/2011 4:09:33 AM
Posted: 5 years ago

I don't remember dude it was actualy an article we had to write after reading it for my Anatomy and Physiology class. I had a really intereisting teacher who was presedent of the Atheist club, my favorite teacher of all time actualy. He had respect for theists and there beliefs, however he was always open for a debate. If you really want to know im sure i could go back and ask him, you'd have to give me a few days though.

That didn't make sence haha... It was actualy a essay we had to write after reading it for my .........
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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9/5/2011 8:36:46 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/4/2011 3:42:04 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
What is life?

I read an article from a modern day science magazine that talked about life on the cellular level. They explained that nobody can figure out what drives cells to do what they do, what gives cells themselves life? What makes cells work together in such a perfect manner that can drive the universe. Is it possible that cells are driven by a supreme being?

I find this interesting and id like to hear from you guys. What do you think life is, what do you think drives the cells? Atheists views and theists are both strongly encouraged.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The Cross.. the Cross.
Moroni23
Posts: 235
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9/5/2011 8:00:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/5/2011 3:18:56 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 9/4/2011 3:42:04 PM, Moroni23 wrote:
What is life?

I read an article from a modern day science magazine that talked about life on the cellular level. They explained that nobody can figure out what drives cells to do what they do, what gives cells themselves life? What makes cells work together in such a perfect manner that can drive the universe. Is it possible that cells are driven by a supreme being?

I find this interesting and id like to hear from you guys. What do you think life is, what do you think drives the cells? Atheists views and theists are both strongly encouraged.

God of the gaps... and a gap that probably does not even exist. What was this science magazine?

I found they article while searching threw some old assinments, I do not know what magizine it is from, but the article is called the Origin of Life - Dr. A. E. Wilder-Smith
Tiel
Posts: 1,500
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9/5/2011 9:36:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What is Life?

Life is energy. Consciousness is awareness. Purpose is desire.
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."