Definition of life

Richard Streng t2997 RS at
Tue Feb 8 08:28:44 EST 1994

>From: adamsd at (Douglas Adams)
>Subject: Definition of Life
>Date: Tue, 01 Feb 1994 17:01:01 -0700
>1  What is a good definition of Life? What are the criteria? Complexity?
>Self-organisation? Reproduction? Competitive reproduction/Evolution?

A universal definition of life should try(!) to include all thinkable
life forms in the universe.

I think, a living system consists of two parts:

  I) A distinct information which consists all instructions necessary 
     to multiply itself.

 II) An envelop for that information which was produced under the
     directives of that information (by growth or assembly or whatever)
     and which aids as a vehicle and as a tool to perform the multiplication
     of the information and of at least initial stages of new envelops.

All other criteria follow secundarily. They are epiphenomena and are
included in the above definition. E.g. ontogeny, selfdestruction and death
of the envelop (the >soma< in earth biology) are under the control of the
Even mutability is included because of a balanced degree of repair of
inevitable or provoked errors during the copying process of the information.

So far my opinion. Excuse my bad english please.

Richard Streng

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