What is life

Tue Jun 16 08:35:40 EST 1998

Well, no, the definition doesn't really describe fire.  A fire doesn't 
extract energy from the environment.  A fire is merely the release of 
energy through combustion.  I guess one might argue that metabolism is 
a type of combustion also.  The difference lies in what is done with 
the nergy released by the two processes.  The release of metabolic 
energy is actively directed by the cell to processes beneficial for 
that cell's survival.  The same isn't true of fire.  It could also be 
said that ice cubes extract energy from the environment, which is why 
ice cubes make things cold.  But again, the process does nothing for 
the ice cube.

Jay M.

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