Is a virus living?
jmone at MARAUDER.MILLERSV.EDU
Mon Nov 9 11:57:38 EST 1998
I would agree with most of Bob Rose's comments. Virologists refer to
viruses as infectious or non-infectious, rather than alive or dead.
You of course will always have a problem with this since we really
have no suitable definition of life. This problem is not unlike
comments made by a Supreme Court justice when asked to define
pornography. The answer was "I can't define it, but I know it when I
The ability to replicate autonomously is a poor criteria, since many
organisms are dependent on other organisms for life.
as you delve into this subject, also consider computer viruses. These
entities do everything that biological viruses do. Are they alive?
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