Where do we go from here?

Eirik Korsell eirik at ibm.net
Thu Oct 9 11:30:05 EST 1997


The task of trying to find a general definition of life is just petty
semantics and a futile search for some hidden meaning in the simple
chemical reactions involved in any form of replication. Life is
chemistry, or complex chemical systems trying to reach equilibrium. We
observe but we don't really understand.....

It helps to put words to it (words like life) to soothe our somewhat
dread of what we might be (simple chemistry).

You say that replication is essential for calling something alive. Is
for instance a human being alive if he/she never replicates? Or do you
mean the possibility of replication as a definition? Self-replication or
environmentally aided replication?

Does a rock replicate if it is spilt in two? Or maybe growth has to come
into the picture at some point?

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- Eirik Korsell             -
- eirik at ibm.net             -
- Dept. of Biochemistry     -
- University College London -
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