Thursday, December 5, 2013

What is Life - Part 1 or 3?

What Is Life Part 1: Definition And Theory
What Is Life   [1]    [2]    [3]


In the 2013 July post I posed the question: Are you real as a teaser post to a future post series about reality, what is really real as opposed to what we perceive as real.

Here in this 3 part series I am going to attempt to answer a question that have confounded science since a long time ago when they (the super intelligent, mega brilliant men and women of science) first attempted to answer it, and thought they had it nailed, which of course today it has been shown to be grossly premature boasting. The reason for this attempt by this author to answer a question that have confounded the most brilliant of our men and women of science ever since, is not because he think he is as smart or smarter than all these brilliant scientists (which he definitely don't and never did), but because the question of what is life is totally connected and related to what is real.

Before we continue any further, I think it best to make it clear that we are not going to use the scientific approach, criteria and methodology to define what life is. The reason we are not is because being no expert on anything, I wouldn't dare to attempt anything that only expert scientists are competent to do. Further it should also be noted by all who read that I am not examining the question of what life is from the scientific perspective but the realistic perspective grounded in what the Christian Holy Scriptures had revealed.

Our approach then, is the common sense method that any man or woman of average intelligent knows how to do, probably because that is the only approach this author knows anything about. And this is the logical reasoning process of putting two and two together. Naturally a prerequisite to the common sense of knowing how to put two and two together would be that we know how to count from one to three. This of course rules out this discussion to all the masters, experts and leading authorities of the Christmas religions who have been insisting forever that three days and three nights meant Friday evening to Sunday morning, and that putting two and two together meant to by hook or crook figure out a way to make everything add up to be Christmas, Easter, Trinity, and sex in marriage as a filthy defiling original sin that doom all humankind to an eternity of torture in hell, so that they (the masters, experts and leading authorities of the Christmas religion) could make the GOD of the Christian Bible appeared to all as a temperamentally unstable, crisis and disaster prone, bungling flip-flopping contradiction, greedily craving glory and to be worshiped.

Mainstream science basically looks at life from the perspective of lifeforms, how to differentiate it from non lifeforms. This, scientists do, mainly because they seek to find life in extraterrestrial bodies and want to be able know when they have found it. Science (most mainstream scientists) also looks at life from the context of the known physical universe which they believe is everything there is, all of existence, and that there is absolutely no possibility of there being anything else. At least it appears that way when they talk and put forward all these hypothesis and postulations they called theories. This is not to say that there are no equally brilliantly intelligent genius scientists who have been telling us that there are multiples other so called parallel universe that exist literally ‘side by side’ ours but only these are in another dimension, or multiples other dimensions. All these other dimensions are real but we can't see nor discern them for some reason or other. But GOD, on the other hand because we can't literary see HIM whenever we want to and/or demand to, is totally unreal, a figment of the imaginations of the weaklings among humankind who need a psychological clutch to be able to function day to day

Of course, every single one of these great scientific theories so called (not to say some of these theories are not pretty grounded in proven facts) and all these other multiple dimensions are absolute infallible truth which we must accept as facts, otherwise we are just plainly too ignorant or stupid. No, most of these scientists didn't say that explicitly but then we all know when we are being looked down upon with disdain, it is a feeling you get when people talk about things in such a way that implied that if you don't wholly agree with them you can only be stupid.

All the rocket scientists and rocket scientists wannabes may retort that this author does the same too and very explicitly. And if anyone who having read fully the blogs of this author and then agree with these rocket scientists and rocket scientists wannabes, don't be surprised to be labelled by this author as either arrogantly stupid or willfully evil or both. Because at no point in all the blogs of this author does he brand or label people who disagree with him as stupid for simply disagreeing with him.

When I use the term arrogantly or blatantly stupid or willfully evil,  I fully qualify what I said, backing these assertions with simple, plain and easy to understand logical dissertations and factual disclosures (grounded fully in our existential reality, not some imaginary postulated ones where aliens hide on the dark side of the moon or on some hidden planet Nibiru waiting patiently from decades to centuries or longer, just to save those few who believe in them from the impending destruction of our planet earth prophesied by some ancient calendar; or where the entire humongous universe of ours just came into existence out of absolutely nothing and non existence some 13 to 14 billions ago), that any man, woman and even child of average intelligent can understand. I have spoken nothing without supplying full easy to understand and clear irrefutable reasoning and proofs to support my assertions and statements. No one is required at any time to agree. Blind faith is not required.


From Dictionaries - What Is Life

Modern dictionaries still have life as: the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.

Books on biology have life as: a distinctive characteristic of a living organism from dead organism or non-living thing, as specifically distinguished by the capacity to grow, metabolize, respond (to stimuli), adapt, and reproduce.

Others still have life as something chemical in composition with biological functionality and not compulsorily organic.

One very interesting definition from a dictionary has life as: the existence of an individual human being or animal. 


The friendly Wikipedia has it as a nice academic definition that is hardly definitive or helpful: Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (death), or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate.


What Mainstream Science Has To Say About What Is Life


NASA defines life as:
Life is a self-sustained chemical system capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution.


http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/starsgalaxies/life's_working_definition.html:
Living things tend to be complex and highly organized. They have the ability to take in energy from the environment and transform it for growth and reproduction. Organisms tend toward homeostasis: an equilibrium of parameters that define their internal environment. Living creatures respond, and their stimulation fosters a reaction-like motion, recoil, and in advanced forms, learning. Life is reproductive, as some kind of copying is needed for evolution to take hold through a population's mutation and natural selection. To grow and develop, living creatures need foremost to be consumers, since growth includes changing biomass, creating new individuals, and the shedding of waste. To qualify as a living thing, a creature must meet some variation for all these criteria.


Many mentioned that life is very hard to define.


http://www.space.com/22210-life-definition-gerald-joyce-interview.html:
What is life? It’s a seemingly simple question that leads to complex answers and heated philosophical and scientific arguments. Some focus on metabolism as the key to life, others on genetics, and there has even been a suggestion that we need a whole new field of science in order to come up with a satisfactory definition.
If we ever hope to identify life elsewhere in the universe, we need to understand what separates living creatures from non-living matter. 


http://www.astrobio.net/exclusive/344/defining-life:
What is life, exactly? This is a question that keeps biologists up at night. The science of biology is the study of life, yet scientists can't agree on an absolute definition. Are the individual cells of your body, with all their complex machinery, "alive?" What about a computer program that learns and evolves? Can a wild fire - which feeds, grows, and reproduces - be considered a living entity?


http://www.newscientist.com/blog/space/2008/04/life-defined.html
According to Sohan Jheeta, an astrobiologist from the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK, biologists have spent far too long dithering about how to define what a living organism actually is. As a result there are more than 280 definitions of life on record, and none of them really hits the mark, Jheeta says.


Others take the approach to defining life by blaming the limitations and imprecision in words and languages and assert that a theory on life is needed.


Cleland, Carol E.; Chyba, Christopher F., Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, v. 32, Issue 4, p. 387-393 (2002):
"There is no broadly accepted definition of 'life.' Suggested definitions face problems, often in the form of robust counter-examples. Here we use insights from philosophical investigations into language to argue that defining 'life' currently poses a dilemma analogous to that faced by those hoping to define 'water' before the existence of molecular theory. In the absence of an analogous theory of the nature of living systems, interminable controversy over the definition of life is inescapable."


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3005285/:
Astrobiologists are committed to studying life in the Cosmos, the terran life we know as well as the extraterran life we do not know but hope to encounter. But what exactly do we seek?
The question is hardly new, nor is the recognition of its difficulty. Also not new is a certain imprecision in the language used to address this question and therefore an imprecision in the consequent ideas.


http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/starsgalaxies/life's_working_definition.html:
Definitions tell us about the meanings of words in our language, as opposed to telling us about the nature of the world. In the case of life, scientists are interested in the nature of life; they are not interested in what the word "life" happens to mean in our language. What we really need to focus on is coming up with an adequately general theory of living systems, as opposed to a definition of "life."



Previous Post: Fourth Year Anniversary
Next Post: What Is Life Part 2 - Life In Our Existential Realm


Special Note
Please note that all discussion by this author are based on a general non expert assessment of information gathered from material published in the public domain (i,e, readily available to members of the public). All of this author's discussions are presented as material for any and all lay person with no special expertise. Anyone twelve years of age and older, who is not mentally incapacitated in some ways, would (or should anyway) be able to understand any and all the discussions of this author. You do not need to be an expert or a genius to understand the simple and straight forward truths discussed by this author.
All “proclaimed and acclaimed” super mega brilliant supremely intelligent geniuses leading experts, defining master authorities, super holier than GOD man, women, entities and beings of whatever godly glorious illustrative mega holy and reverent titles, please go somewhere else to announce and proclaim your supreme superiority and lowest humility over all other members of humankind.


Last Updated: 2013 12 05
First Posted: 2013 12 05
© Quah 2013. All rights reserved.

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