On 9/23/2013 12:32 PM, John Mikes wrote:
I have a profound respect to Dawkins, but why should I believe him?
Why would you restrict the 'genes' to those (physical worldly - conventional scientific) measurements that show a 'match' to the 'parents' similarly superficially mapped genes?

That's an outdated conception of genes. Genes are coding sequences in DNA. They are not 'superficially mapped' measurements. They can be moved from one animal to another - c.f. rabbits that glow in the dark.

All 'networks' go infinite with branching further and further into more and more aspects (the "genes" not exempted) - it is a likely (human?) vision of the infinite complexity we have only a small glimpse of.

So what?  We don't know a lot, but we know somethings.

Your distinction: can something "be alive" without life? Then my question stands. Could you describe 'being alive' without the concept of 'life'?

Being alive is well described by metabolism for maintenance and homeostasis. So mules are definitely alive. But there's no sharp distinction. A robot that can recharge itself is a little bit alive too. And a virus that can only metabolize by hijacking the mechanism of a cell is a little bit alive too. But to have life you need reproduction - which is just maintenance at a species level.

"Mules don't constitute life" - no, mules constitute animals - a transition between a horse and an ass.

Between a jackass and a mare.  But they're not a transition, they're a hybrid.


Both rife with life - except for the progeny?

On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

    On 9/23/2013 11:49 AM, John Mikes wrote:
    Brent - REPRODUCTION???? - in our 'biology' there is only one strain that
    reproduces: the prokaryotes by mitosis. In most(?) heterosex procreation 
you take
    TWO DIFFERENT ENTITIES and by combining some products of them you CREATE a 
    one, not identical to any of the "procreating" parents. Biologist friends 
    surprised, but finally agreed.

    Dawkins would point out that it's genes that get reproduced.

    There was ONE smartAlec who changed my topic to 'reproduction of the 
    which is fine, as long as we know much enough of the details of that 
'specie' -
    what we usually don't. (Cf: drug-resistence of microbes).
    "For an alien all humans are identical, even many animal kinds included."
    I would not deny the Robert Rosen characteristics-cryterion: his  M & R  the
    Metabolism and Repair. I don't find it a definitive description, but in 
most cases
    it works fine as "main" attribute.
    Reproduction? no way. A mule is alive.

    Did you miss that I was making a distinction between 'life' (as in 'Is 
there life on
    Mars?') and 'being alive'.  Sure a mule is alive.  But mules don't 
constitute life.



    On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com
    <mailto:whatsons...@gmail.com>> wrote:

        On Monday, September 23, 2013 12:45:00 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:

            For 'life', in contrast to 'being alive', I'd add reproduction. 
That's the
            real defining
            characteristic of life.

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