A possible definition of life.
ed at MOLBIOL.UCT.AC.ZA
Wed Apr 16 08:37:22 EST 1997
> From: mattst at cogs.susx.ac.uk (Matthew Stanfield)
> Subject: A possible definition of life.
> I have, what I consider, a possible definition of life.
> I have been reading about Artificial Life (studying for college) and have hit
... Please could someone explain to me why the age-old problem of
> defining life is not solved by:
> "Life (on Earth) consists of all things built by DNA."
Because, Matthew, there are those of us who think viruses - at least
when in their hosts - display the attributes of living things. And
many viruses have RNA genomes. This is not to mention the
possibility that computer viruses are, given a brand new niche of
electronic labyrinths in which to electronicaly multiply, also alive
(who are we to argue with Stephen Hawking?). Or memes (thought
viruses - like the tune of "The Macarena").
No, Matthew: I prefer:
"Life (anywhere) is the phenomenon associated with th replciaiton of
self-coding informational systems".
c. Rybicki, 1995.
Ed Rybicki, PhD
Dept Microbiology | ed at molbiol.uct.ac.za
University of Cape Town | rybicki at uctvms.uct.ac.za
Private Bag, Rondebosch | phone: x27-21-650-3265
7700, South Africa | fax: x27-21-689 7573
WWW URL: http://www.uct.ac.za/microbiology/ed.html
"Out here on the perimeter, there are no stars..."
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