Definition of Life

Julian Blanc mcbjjbj at
Tue Feb 8 21:05:20 EST 1994

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

More information about the Bioforum mailing list