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Characteristics of Life

crackofdawn_Jr
Posts: 1,350
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2/23/2009 6:54:36 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I think the the characteristics of Life need to be changed. I've started a debate on it and I want to think what others think about them.

Also, is a virus living?

Characeristics fo life:

Living things are made of cells.

Living things obtain and use energy.

Living things grow and develop.

Living things reproduce.

Living things respond to their environment.

Living things adapt to their environment
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Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/23/2009 7:15:24 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
As my biology teacher once put it, I think (kinda fuzzy, it was a few years ago...) If you find a big fat green-skinned 30 year old bachelor all alone on Mars, he can be clearly alive without there being any evidence whatsoever that it reproduces.

And as I responded, cell reproduction, wtfpwned :).
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Nail_Bat
Posts: 132
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2/24/2009 7:12:01 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Good luck, we haven't yet come up with a watertight definition of life, but we have one that works well enough in most cases. The problem has more to do with language itself than with life.
Nik
Posts: 552
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2/24/2009 7:32:06 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Nope virus is not considered alive becuase they cant reproduce on their own.

Just a small thought but if two organisims are considered the same species if they can viably breed together and produce fertile offspring. does that mean that people with downs syndrome are technically a different species? Im sure thats wrong but can someone tell me why?
"If you could tell the world but one truth, I could convince it of a thousand lies"
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/24/2009 10:20:30 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 2/24/2009 7:32:06 PM, Nik wrote:
Nope virus is not considered alive becuase they cant reproduce on their own.
Neither can you, deady
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Nik
Posts: 552
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2/25/2009 4:59:49 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
As in it needs the assistance of another cell to reproduce (not another virus)

It cant perform meiosis or mitosis
"If you could tell the world but one truth, I could convince it of a thousand lies"
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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2/25/2009 3:47:53 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 2/24/2009 7:32:06 PM, Nik wrote:
Nope virus is not considered alive becuase they cant reproduce on their own.

Just a small thought but if two organisims are considered the same species if they can viably breed together and produce fertile offspring. does that mean that people with downs syndrome are technically a different species? Im sure thats wrong but can someone tell me why?

Females are generally fertile, males on the whole are sterile, though at least two cases of that not being the case are apparent. Since downs syndrome is not inherited except in a fringe percentages of cases, asserting its own speciation would be problematic. :P
Nik
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2/25/2009 5:23:28 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I thought they were all infertile, due to them having a incorrect number of chromosomes?
"If you could tell the world but one truth, I could convince it of a thousand lies"
Harlan
Posts: 1,880
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2/25/2009 6:27:29 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Ragnar has a good point. All members of the animal kingdom don't have asexual reproduction, yet we are still called life.

As far as life goes, it is a phenomenon of things that happen naturally. I know that's vague, but what I am saying is that since it is a natural occurance than there is going to be in-betweens and variations.

I think therefore a very broad and philosophical definition needs to be worded. As far as I am concerned, Viruses are very much life, as they only exist because they have the strive to exist, and to reproduce.

For evolution to occur you must have:

-reproduction
-mutations

These might be considered to be the basis of life, as it can't develop without them.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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2/25/2009 7:28:01 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 2/25/2009 5:23:28 PM, Nik wrote:
I thought they were all infertile, due to them having a incorrect number of chromosomes?

Nope.
Nik
Posts: 552
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2/25/2009 7:36:56 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 2/25/2009 7:28:01 PM, Puck wrote:
At 2/25/2009 5:23:28 PM, Nik wrote:


Nope.

no wonder I got an E in biology, my freakin biology teacher was a lying spaz!
"If you could tell the world but one truth, I could convince it of a thousand lies"
jjmd280
Posts: 209
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2/26/2009 12:30:52 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
A virus isn't alive, but not for the reasons mentioned above. Many "alive" bacteria such as Chlamydia and the Rickettsii group cannot replicate without a host cell. The problem with calling viruses alive is they have no metabolism. (Or react to external stimulus for that matter.)
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/26/2009 9:43:46 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
The notion that viruses don't react to external stimuli is absurd. Introduce a T-cell into the environment of an HIV virus, see if it doesn't react!
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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2/26/2009 1:45:09 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
no wonder I got an E in biology, my freakin biology teacher was a lying spaz!

A spaz, eh? Did he have Down's Syndrome?

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Nik
Posts: 552
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2/26/2009 6:17:31 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Fantastic! Surrey docks pub? is that near salt quays pub?
"If you could tell the world but one truth, I could convince it of a thousand lies"
Nail_Bat
Posts: 132
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3/1/2009 6:25:10 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Whenever someone comes up with a list of criteria for life, I like to imagine an alien that does not meet at least one of the criteria but still would seem "alive" to me. What would happen if we met such an alien?
Axonly
Posts: 1,802
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6/6/2016 8:12:57 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 2/23/2009 6:54:36 PM, crackofdawn_Jr wrote:
I think the the characteristics of Life need to be changed. I've started a debate on it and I want to think what others think about them.

Also, is a virus living?

Characeristics fo life:

Living things are made of cells.

Living things obtain and use energy.

Living things grow and develop.

Living things reproduce.

Living things respond to their environment.

Living things adapt to their environment

Hi seven years ago.
Meh!
Jack_Dead
Posts: 22
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6/23/2016 3:10:17 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
I agree that virus are debatable living things.

There is a dillema that i want to ask:
If 7 characteristics of life includes the Ability to Reproduce
However Mules (mix of horse & donkey) cannot reproduce,
Does that mean Mules are not living things?

If mules are considered living things, then are the 7 characteristics of life Faulty?