Definition of Life
Rafael N Szeinfeld
szeinfel at FOX.CCE.USP.BR
Wed Feb 9 06:56:50 EST 1994
On 9 Feb 1994, Julian Blanc wrote:
> The best definition I heard was given by John Maynard Smith. A living
> thing must a physical dissipative structure having the following
> - Variation
> - Reproduction
> - Heredity
> This definition excludes fire, vortexes, planets, replicating clay crystals,
> priests and cellular automata. It includes, however, free replicating
> informational molecules such as nucleic acids, which is pretty neat.
> Julian Blanc
I would like if you explain better what you mean with variation
and as I suppose, how these requeriment excludes crystal growth. Indeed,
a DNA molecule can not be classified as a living thing.
A crazy idea comes to my mind now:
What if we say that life has nothing special than a crystal (for
exemple) has ? It's just another form of organization of molecules.
Sounds strange ? let's discuss it!
Rafael Najmanovich Szeinfeld
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