what is alive?

Mario Vaneechoutte Mario.Vaneechoutte at rug.ac.be
Mon Sep 23 12:54:14 EST 1996

Johnjoe McFadden wrote:
> I wrote:
> >... Life is a lot more wonderful that a computer virus or a chain mail
> letter - not just more
> > complex - it differs at more fundamental levels.
> and  Mario Vaneechoutte comments:
> I still don't see problems for calling this living information. As a
> consensus, we can use 'life' only when we refer to biological living
> information.
> .......................
> This may come down to a question of semantics. Ed and Mario may be happy
> with a definition of life that includes computer viruses, chain mail letters
> and sequels to the movie Rambo (which certainly proliferated) - but I am not
> - its just not very useful when trying to work out what makes living
> organisms special. 

My reply:

This may contain some interesting discussion points, but also see my
reply on sci.bio.evolution, for some other point of view. I posted it
there because I think this discussion (What is alive?) is better suited
for sci.bio.evolution which is more about general concepts on evolution,
while this newsgroup is more technical. So I suggest to replace this
entire discussion to the other newsgroup.

Mario Vaneechoutte
Laboratory Bacteriology & Virology
Blok A, De Pintelaan 185
University Hospital Ghent
Belgium 9000 Ghent
Tel: +32 9 240 36 92
Fax: +32 9 240 36 59
E-mail: Mario.Vaneechoutte at rug.ac.be

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