A possible definition of life.

Herbert M Sauro HSauro at fssc.demon.co.uk
Sun Apr 27 11:14:05 EST 1997


In article <01bc4ad9$762005a0$03d3c9d0 at wjh_dell_133.dazsi.com>, Bill
House <bhouse at dazsi.com> writes
>Matthew Stanfield <mattst at cogs.susx.ac.uk> wrote in article
><5j2io1$an6 at infa.central.susx.ac.uk>...
>> "Life (on Earth) consists of all things built by DNA."
>> 
>What is it about DNA that qualifies it over, say carbon, as the chemical
>compound whose properties define life?  If some other entity exhibited those
>properties, would not it also be considered alive?  
>
>IMO, life is not a physical compound, but an emergent phenomenon of complex
>entities that allows them to replicate, transform energy to locally reduce
>entropy, and to evolve new behaviors and phenotypes that enhance their ability
>to replicate and transform energy. This probably goes against convention, but I
>happen to think convention is to specific to biological systems.
Yes, I think this is a very acceptable definition, one of the best I've
come across. Pinning life down to a specific physical compound is
certainly short-sighted and I would tend to agree with you here.
>Bill House
Herbert
-- 
Herbert M Sauro
Future Skill Software (Specialists in Science Software for Education)
email:     HSauro at fssc.demon.co.uk
Telephone: 01974 282428
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