What is Life?

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What is Life?

Postby Jimmy Neutron on October 31st, 2017, 8:46 pm 

Is there a definition of life? What defines life according to you. Is there such a fundamental defintion or is that name given arbitrarily to subjectively grouped characteristics? I found this article which may be interesting and talks about Schrodinger's What is Life?:

"In his 1943 lectures, Schrodinger posed the question 'What Is Life?' and remarked that the inability of chemistry and physics to account for such events is no reason at all for doubting that they could be accounted for by those sciences."


Read more: https://blogofthecosmos.com/2016/12/25/what-is-life/
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Re: What is Life?

Postby mitchellmckain on October 31st, 2017, 9:03 pm 

There is a thread on this question in the biology section viewtopic.php?f=37&t=32871

I read Schrodinger's book and it was mostly to claim that quantum physics had nothing to do with life because quantum phenomenon had no impact on the macroscopic world. This was already dubious at the time for the simple fact that quantum events were affecting macroscopic events in the lab every time we made measurements of a quantum state. The nail in the coffin came with the advent of chaos science which discovered that by replacing nonlinear equations with linear approximations, science of the previous era was missing out on the fact that microscopic fluctuations are amplified to affect macroscopic events all the time.
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Re: What is Life?

Postby mitchellmckain on November 1st, 2017, 12:24 am 

mitchellmckain » October 31st, 2017, 8:03 pm wrote:There is a thread on this question in the biology section viewtopic.php?f=37&t=32871

I read Schrodinger's book and it was mostly to claim that quantum physics had nothing to do with life because quantum phenomenon had no impact on the macroscopic world. This was already dubious at the time for the simple fact that quantum events were affecting macroscopic events in the lab every time we made measurements of a quantum state. The nail in the coffin came with the advent of chaos science which discovered that by replacing nonlinear equations with linear approximations, science of the previous era was missing out on the fact that microscopic fluctuations are amplified to affect macroscopic events all the time.


In other words, to expand on this...

Based on the behavior of linear equations Schrodinger concluded that quantum fluctuation had to average out to no effect on the large scale. But non-linear equations often don't do this. They can selectively amplify some quantum fluctuations while ignoring the rest, resulting in macroscopic outcomes which are ultimately unpredictable and in fact have ultimately no determining causes in the pre-existing conditions. This is the so called, "butterfly effect." In fact, when you thinking about it, this is exactly what equipment in a lab is doing when it measures a quantum state and on the basis of the results alters a visible display on the macroscopic level where we can see the result.
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Re: What is Life?

Postby BadgerJelly on November 1st, 2017, 1:48 am 

Life, on a very basic level, appears to be an organic homeostatic condition within which patterns of data are preserved (to some degree) from instant to instant.

Other than that it is the thing I both love and hate, the thing I seem unable to simply give up on, and a work in "progress" (whatever that means.)

I think my response is more philosophical than scientific though. Been a while since I looked at biological definitions of life.
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Re: What is Life?

Postby Braininvat on November 1st, 2017, 10:04 am 

The OP may be just to promote a personal blog. And this thread

viewtopic.php?nomobile=1&f=37&t=6722

has discussed this extensively. Should the other posts move there?
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Re: What is Life?

Postby Jimmy Neutron on November 1st, 2017, 4:56 pm 

^^^

Dude, WTF??? It is not even mine.
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Re: What is Life?

Postby BioWizard on November 24th, 2017, 2:54 pm 

Jimmy Neutron » 01 Nov 2017 03:56 pm wrote:^^^

Dude, WTF??? It is not even mine.


1- That still doesn't mean you weren't promoting it
2- Relax, BiV wasn't taking any action towards your. Just alerting you to the thread where we've near beaten the subject to death :)
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Re: What is Life?

Postby Jimmy Neutron on November 28th, 2017, 6:26 pm 

^^

Cool, thanks for the referral. As a relatively new member, I wouldn't have necessarily known it existed.
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Re: What is Life?

Postby garryben on November 29th, 2017, 11:09 am 

I don't have any better definition about life. But as far as I know life is God gifted and everyone is just leading.
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Re: What is Life?

Postby BioWizard on November 29th, 2017, 12:03 pm 

garryben » 29 Nov 2017 10:09 am wrote:I don't have any better definition about life. But as far as I know life is God gifted and everyone is just leading.


Hi Garry,

While we appreciate the importance of supernatural belief to people, we prefer not to use it in explaining natural phenomena in scientific discussions and we actually have a hard rule against doing that in the science section of this website. This is not meant to prevent people from sharing their belief, but rather to keep the science forum focused on scientific discussion. Thanks.
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