viruse debate: Are they alive?

Wed Jan 25 03:43:14 EST 1995

> From:          Martin Hewlett <hewlett at>
> Subject:       Re: viruse debate: Are they alive?
> Denni Schnapp <ds4 at> wrote:
>  I like Steven Levy's ("Artifi-
> > cial Life", 

> This brought to mind a quote I saw once from A. E. Boycott, given 
in his
> presidential address to the Royal Society of Medicine in 1928:
> "Alive or dead is a stupid question, because it does not exhaust 
the possibilities.
> Our general notion of the universe leads us to expect that we 
shall meet with
> things that are not so alive as a sunflower, and not so dead as a 
> (A.E. Boycott, "Transition from Live to Dead:  The Nature of
> Filterable Viruses,"  quoted in "Viral Infections of the Nervous
> System" by Richard T. Johnson.

Superb!!!  How could anyone put it better?  There are more things in 
Heaven and Earth (and elsewhere)...

 | Ed Rybicki, PhD          |  (ed at  |
 | Dept Microbiology        | University of Cape Town  |    
 | Private Bag, Rondebosch  |   7700, South Africa     |          
 | fax: xx27-21-650 4023    |  tel: xx27-21-650 3265   |  
 |       URL:        |

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