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"Alive" Systems

Indophile
Posts: 1,414
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2/21/2012 2:25:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
What are the base criteria for a system to be "alive"?

Or, How do you know if something is alive? What's the defintion?

(I'm NOT looking for this definition: A system that has life is alive)
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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2/21/2012 3:16:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/21/2012 2:25:36 PM, Indophile wrote:
What are the base criteria for a system to be "alive"?

Or, How do you know if something is alive? What's the defintion?

(I'm NOT looking for this definition: A system that has life is alive)

"Life (cf. biota) is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes (i.e., living organisms) from those that do not." -Wiki
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Chthonian
Posts: 247
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2/21/2012 8:00:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/21/2012 3:16:30 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 2/21/2012 2:25:36 PM, Indophile wrote:
What are the base criteria for a system to be "alive"?

Or, How do you know if something is alive? What's the defintion?

(I'm NOT looking for this definition: A system that has life is alive)

"Life (cf. biota) is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes (i.e., living organisms) from those that do not." -Wiki

T, obligate intracellular parasites would not fulfill that criterion of life because they can't sustain self without a host. Yet if the parasite is a bacterium, it is considered alive; but if it is a virus, it is not. What makes the two different?
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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2/21/2012 8:30:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/21/2012 8:03:06 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Life is an artificial distinction created by humans that doesn't exist in the real world.
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
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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2/22/2012 4:47:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
: At 2/21/2012 8:00:23 PM, Chthonian wrote:
: T, obligate intracellular parasites would not fulfill that criterion of life because they can't sustain self without a host. Yet if the parasite is a bacterium, it is considered alive; but if it is a virus, it is not. What makes the two different?

All life needs a specific environment; in the case of parasites, the environment they need is the host. Ergo, I see it as falling under this category.

Also, I believe that viruses are covered in Biology, the study of life. They have a special position in the biological classification system, but they are their nonetheless.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Chthonian
Posts: 247
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2/22/2012 7:15:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/22/2012 4:47:55 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
: At 2/21/2012 8:00:23 PM, Chthonian wrote:
: T, obligate intracellular parasites would not fulfill that criterion of life because they can't sustain self without a host. Yet if the parasite is a bacterium, it is considered alive; but if it is a virus, it is not. What makes the two different?

All life needs a specific environment; in the case of parasites, the environment they need is the host. Ergo, I see it as falling under this category.

Interesting perspective, T; it does make logical sense. I have always found it amazing that some parasites have evolved to harm the host thereby jeopardizing their own existence. I guess at that level of life it is not about sustaining individual living units but rather ensuring the collective survival of the species through reproducing as many units as they can.

Also, I believe that viruses are covered in Biology, the study of life. They have a special position in the biological classification system, but they are their nonetheless.

I think viruses aren't considered alive because they don't need to metabolize food energy into chemical energy in order to exist.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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2/23/2012 1:45:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/22/2012 7:15:20 PM, Chthonian wrote:
Interesting perspective, T; it does make logical sense. I have always found it amazing that some parasites have evolved to harm the host thereby jeopardizing their own existence. I guess at that level of life it is not about sustaining individual living units but rather ensuring the collective survival of the species through reproducing as many units as they can.

Yes. It is strange that some parasites will kill the host. However, if this trait threaten's that particular parasite's extinction, it will die out.

I think viruses aren't considered alive because they don't need to metabolize food energy into chemical energy in order to exist.

I agree. I find it hard to consider viruses as living. There are some new chemical processes that cause replication based on relatively simple molecules, which is an amazing thing too. But I also don't think it should be considered living.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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2/27/2012 12:56:34 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/21/2012 8:03:06 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Life is an artificial distinction created by humans that doesn't exist in the real world.

The Fool: What is a non-human distinction? ah ... I knew you werent one of us.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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2/27/2012 1:29:17 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/23/2012 1:45:01 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 2/22/2012 7:15:20 PM, Chthonian wrote:
Interesting perspective, T; it does make logical sense. I have always found it amazing that some parasites have evolved to harm the host thereby jeopardizing their own existence. I guess at that level of life it is not about sustaining individual living units but rather ensuring the collective survival of the species through reproducing as many units as they can.

Yes. It is strange that some parasites will kill the host. However, if this trait threaten's that particular parasite's extinction, it will die out.

The Fool: Oh you mean those non-rational things? I wonder why they do that. ;)

I think viruses aren't considered alive because they don't need to metabolize food energy into chemical energy in order to exist.

I agree. I find it hard to consider viruses as living. There are some new chemical processes that cause replication based on relatively simple molecules, which is an amazing thing too. But I also don't think it should be considered living.

The Fool: Right but those are biologist terms, biologist are horrable philosophers.

A rock is self sustaining, by just being a rock. It may chip, and to reproducing more rocks. It is the enviroment that shapes them. They don't change the enivroment. Life does.

Life is intentional progressive organization. In contrast to entropy, accidental progressive unorganization.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Mimshot
Posts: 275
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2/27/2012 11:25:02 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/21/2012 8:03:06 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Life is an artificial distinction created by humans that doesn't exist in the real world.

Give a term used to describe the world for which that is not true.
Mimshot: I support the 1956 Republican platform
DDMx: So, you're a socialist?
Mimshot: Yes