1. Post #41
    Madtoker's Avatar
    June 2011
    383 Posts
    you have to fit every single one to be considered living. hence why viruses aren't considered living(last i checked). they don't reproduce independently, they need to steal genetic information from another cell.
    They dont steal genetic information, they infect cells with their own genetic information, and use the cell "machinery" to create more of the virus.
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  2. Post #42
    wallyroberto_2's Avatar
    August 2011
    2,314 Posts
    Life is pretty much impossible to define because it is just a word that holds little actual meaning, a word someone decided to use to draw a line and say "everything that doesn't match these criteria isn't alive".

    The truth is that there is no universal threshold that separates "life" and everything else. To say "viruses aren't alive, they're more like machines" is silly because we're all biological machines. Viruses can be as complex as some bacteria, they evolve, they carry genetic information and they replicate (even if it's using other cells to do so it still replicates).

    They are parasitic and different from cells and bacteria, but why should that mean they are not alive?
    I didnt say that viruses weren't life

  3. Post #43
    Gold Member
    Mindtwistah's Avatar
    July 2008
    3,753 Posts
    I didnt say that viruses weren't life
    That part wasn't directed at you, more of a general statement and food for thought to everyone in this thread.

  4. Post #44
    geoface's Avatar
    April 2010
    2,366 Posts
    how similar is this to a virus(since a virus is technically non-living)

  5. Post #45
    Gold Member
    Nikita's Avatar
    April 2005
    1,939 Posts
    Why does life need a definition? Can't we just agree that it's a subjective property?

  6. Post #46
    USER HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED FROM REALITY - RETRY CONNECTION IN 5 MINUTES
    Dennab
    February 2006
    22,239 Posts
    Why does life need a definition? Can't we just agree that it's a subjective property?
    science tries it's best to eliminate subjectivity where it can. that's part of what science is; it creates objective and quantifiable definitions and explanations.
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  7. Post #47
    SJW 4 lyfe
    DaysBefore's Avatar
    December 2009
    7,361 Posts
    Behold the dawn of the Tiberium age.
    Last time I check that went pretty badly for the Earth. So long as we stay away from Italy I guess we'll be fine.
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  8. Post #48
    Gold Member
    SGTNAPALM's Avatar
    October 2007
    22,475 Posts
    science tries it's best to eliminate subjectivity where it can. that's part of what science is; it creates objective and quantifiable definitions and explanations.
    Why can't we change definitions if we needed to? Isn't that what science is about, changing hypothesis and theories as new information comes to light or is challenged?

  9. Post #49
    USER HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED FROM REALITY - RETRY CONNECTION IN 5 MINUTES
    Dennab
    February 2006
    22,239 Posts
    Why can't we change definitions if we needed to? Isn't that what science is about, changing hypothesis and theories as new information comes to light or is challenged?
    yea of course you can change the definition as you need to. the real question is why do you think the change is needed at all? and you don't just change the definition of life to "something subjective", you change the objective characteristics into different objective characteristics to reflect a change in data.

  10. Post #50
    Gold Member
    Im Crimson's Avatar
    December 2005
    6,086 Posts
    Why can't we change definitions if we needed to? Isn't that what science is about, changing hypothesis and theories as new information comes to light or is challenged?
    We can and we do, but what's the reason in this case? There's no reason to declare viruses to be alive just because "they're organic and they do some shit to living things to reproduce". Note that they still don't have metabolism; they don't have chemical processes within them that perpetuate their existence as individuals.

  11. Post #51
    Don't lose your way
    Limed00d's Avatar
    February 2011
    6,266 Posts



    ?????

    (is the image even loading)
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  12. Post #52
    Gold Member
    ridinmybike's Avatar
    January 2007
    281 Posts

    attack of the monoliths?
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  13. Post #53
    Resplendent Reenactor
    Zillamaster55's Avatar
    June 2010
    18,621 Posts


    soon

  14. Post #54
    Gold Member
    Chonch's Avatar
    July 2009
    7,214 Posts

  15. Post #55
    Gekkosan's Avatar
    October 2010
    5,668 Posts
    well facepunchers obviously aren't lifeforms as they don't do #6
    although their bodies think they are at the peak of a long-lasting reproduction season
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  16. Post #56
    playdoh
    lifehole's Avatar
    May 2008
    3,047 Posts
    I do wonder what is in the future, how complex will we be able to take creation of life? Will we have the ability to generate and create any lifeform at will? An ability to custom develop life itself, manipulate the very fabric of nature. If we pursue these goals, it could revolutionize humanity as we know it.

  17. Post #57
    Gold Member
    hypno-toad's Avatar
    October 2006
    14,811 Posts
    While viruses don't necessarily meet the biological definition of "living," you can still technically refer to them as "organisms."

    Honestly the textbook definition of "alive" is pretty sketchy and really seems like it's a catch-all, rather than an actual definition. It'll be nice when scientists and engineers start making physical and simulated artificial lifeforms that meet all the "criteria" of living so we can finally throw all that biology dogma out the window and give life a less shitty definition.

  18. Post #58
    Gold Member
    V12US's Avatar
    August 2005
    4,635 Posts
    While viruses don't necessarily meet the biological definition of "living," you can still technically refer to them as "organisms."

    Honestly the textbook definition of "alive" is pretty sketchy and really seems like it's a catch-all, rather than an actual definition. It'll be nice when scientists and engineers start making physical and simulated artificial lifeforms that meet all the "criteria" of living so we can finally throw all that biology dogma out the window and give life a less shitty definition.
    But then you could already consider computer viruses to be "organisms/lifeforms" as well.

    Which would be pretty funny, as it would mean the first form of "life" we created was solely made to annoy and fuck with other people.

    Humanity in a nutshell.
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  19. Post #59
    Gold Member
    Nikita's Avatar
    April 2005
    1,939 Posts
    We can always make a new textbook definition if we ever come to an agreement about what life should be though.