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A possible definition of life.

Peter Bentley ucacpjb at cs.ucl.ac.uk
Tue May 6 12:00:24 EST 1997

> ......... Someone has also pointed
> out the mix between biological question about life and the metaphysical
> question about life in this discussion. If not necessarely biological, I
> think this thread really is not about the metaphysical part (try
> comp.ai.philosophy), but you will all decide yourself.

It's a shame that you feel the need to place arbitrary boundaries on this
discussion. Can you be so sure that all life is physical and biological?
> .......Computerprograms which definitly can hold a
> lot of the characteristics which we find important about life, is
> therefore not alive. Computerprograms live _inside_ physical matter,
> they are not _built from it. 

I think this is rather limited thinking. Why must all life consist of
3D physical replicating machines? I see no reason at all why computer
creatures evolved internally within a virtual world of a computer could
not be alive. For all you know *we* all might just be an elaborate
computer program running on 'God's computer!

(As an aside - this is one of those things that religious people have an
easy answer for: something is 'alive' if it has a soul. Shame I'm not


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