On Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 12:38 AM, Roger Clough <rclo...@verizon.net> wrote:
> Hi Stathis Papaioannou
> OK, I'll bite.
> How does modern biology define life ?

It's rarely defined unless someone asks for a definition. Problems
arise with the definition when it comes to viruses and prions, which
have some characteristics of other entities commonly considered alive
but not others. We can imagine other cases of entities that grow,
replicate and maintain homeostasis but may or may not be said to be
alive based on some other arbitrary criterion, such as whether it uses
organic chemistry. Thus a machine (electronic and mechanical) that
maintains itself, seeks energy and spare parts from its environment
and makes copies of itself may or may not be called "alive" depending
on the whim of the definer.

But the important point I wanted to make is that biologists reject vitalism.

Stathis Papaioannou

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