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 -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.