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post Dec 19, 2006, 09:39 AM
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There's a lot wrong with the article below. Let's discuss it?

The New Scientist
Volume 192, Issue 2582 , 16 December 2006, Page 21

Life, but not as we know it

Paul Newell

Available online 15 December 2006.

I find the definition of life as a “self-sustained chemical system capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution,” a surprising one to have gained credence (18 November, p 46). Darwinian evolution can refer only to a group of entities, and indeed many generations thereof. As such, if I were the last human in existence, I would not be considered as “life” by this definition as I would no longer be capable of Darwinian evolution. GM crops which produce sterile seeds would be further examples of non-life.

The mistake that has been made is to constrain all possible forms of life by the definition of the only example we know of. I can envisage a planet where a freak occurrence in its sea of chemicals gives rise to a complex cellular system. The system grows by a mechanism akin to cell division, but every cell is the same as the last. Change is not necessary, for it resides in a nutrient-rich, stable environment with no competition. Existence is a cinch. After millions of years it covers more than half of the planet's surface.

Maybe one day it will cease to exist because it will have consumed all available resources. Is this system undergoing Darwinian evolution?

No. Is it alive? Of course.

It's not hard to envisage such life, and many other wackier examples.

So, it's not hard to realise that Darwinian evolution has no place in a definition of life.

Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK
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trojan_libido
post Dec 19, 2006, 11:56 AM
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Well for one all life contains DNA and this is the mechanism for creating variation and allowing natural selection to take place. Just because no change is/was necessary doesn't mean the biology isn't still monitoring its environment and poised for change.

Its interesting to think what we'll call the process behind DNA when we finally uncover it. Will that be "pure" life, "God", or just some other dry terminology...

QUOTE
GM crops which produce sterile seeds...

Not sure about this at all, why would anyone want to create a sterile plant? What benefit would it bring?
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Culture
post Dec 19, 2006, 12:49 PM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Dec 19, 2006, 08:56 AM) *



QUOTE
GM crops which produce sterile seeds...

Not sure about this at all, why would anyone want to create a sterile plant? What benefit would it bring?


I come from Africa and GM seeds force farmers to buy new seeds every year.
Its all about the money
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trojan_libido
post Dec 19, 2006, 01:49 PM
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The evil of commerce again. Its illogical, stupid and possibly dangerous to our normal crops.
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maximus242
post Dec 19, 2006, 02:55 PM
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hmm, The question of what is life is a very difficult one sometimes indeed. The guy is simply taking a new perspective on a old question, nothing new, just repackaged.
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Flex
post Dec 19, 2006, 04:56 PM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Dec 19, 2006, 10:49 AM) *

The evil of commerce again. Its illogical, stupid and possibly dangerous to our normal crops.


The brilliance of commerce you mean? You don't HAVE to buy the seeds--it is simply a smart business move, and totaly logical.
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maximus242
post Dec 19, 2006, 08:07 PM
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QUOTE(Culture @ Dec 19, 2006, 10:49 AM) *

QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Dec 19, 2006, 08:56 AM) *



QUOTE
GM crops which produce sterile seeds...

Not sure about this at all, why would anyone want to create a sterile plant? What benefit would it bring?


I come from Africa and GM seeds force farmers to buy new seeds every year.
Its all about the money


Happens all over the world, not just Africa.

Its possible to buy seeds that go on year after year, they just need to find natural, unmodified crops. Alternativly I suppose you could re-modify it to allow for continued reproduction of crops every year.

It does seem a bit unfair, basic food should always be cheap and easy to access. I mean having non germented seeds would allow people to fight off world hunger and starvation.
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trojan_libido
post Dec 20, 2006, 04:28 AM
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Commerce is a natural and basic law - I'm convinced of this. It is the vehicle propelling us onwards and dangling the proverbial carrot. It makes the grass look greener, drives us to succeed in business and life, and basically pulls us onward.

However this force may be expressed, it definately has good and evil wrapped up in it. It makes people greedy, creates contempt, is the bringer of destruction and all that jazz. I have a love-hate relationship with it. Maybe I have fair respect for it, im still unsure, but its definately unsettling to me.
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KALKI
post Apr 09, 2019, 07:07 AM
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Life is Energy and the quality of life depends on the quality of energy -- the energy of place, body, mind, food ...

SAMI = light, clean energy
HOOCHA = dense, heavy, dirty energy
( Aztec / Toltec Life Philosophy )
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