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What is the opposite of life?
Posted: 11 July 2008 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Most would say death, but isn’t birth the opposite of death?

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Posted: 11 July 2008 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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That which doesn’t replicate? (I believe this is why scientists cannot decide if viruses are alive since, even though they can replicate, they can’t do it on their own.)

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Posted: 11 July 2008 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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lifeless.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Without its host, a virus is lifeless.
I agree with morgantj - the opposite of life is lifeless. A rock is lifeless, but it knows not death.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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You might agree with morgantj, traveler, that lifeless is opposite of life, but you still need to explain what it is that defines life and lifelessness (is that a word?). And that’s the ability (or inability) to replicate.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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BTW, a rock does experience death. Everything does.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Death, according to wiki is: Death is the cessation of the biological functions that define living organisms. When did a rock have any biological functions?

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Posted: 11 July 2008 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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George - 11 July 2008 11:00 AM

BTW, a rock does experience death. Everything does.

Oh my.  Please do explain.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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George - 11 July 2008 10:58 AM

You might agree with morgantj, traveler, that lifeless is opposite of life, but you still need to explain what it is that defines life and lifelessness (is that a word?). And that’s the ability (or inability) to replicate.

Ok, life is the intrinsic quality of any living thing (duh) cool smile . A living thing is made of cells, and these units of living matter all share the same machinery for their most basic functions. From here, I can only recommend something like “Molecular Biology of The Cell” by Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, et al.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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A rock will cease to exist. Just like the sun will, a galaxy, and possibly the whole universe. We are not different from rocks because we live or die, we are, once again, different because we replicate and they don’t.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Death is not defined as ceasing to exist. Besides, the things you mention do NOT cease to exist. They break down into smaller pieces. Matter is conserved.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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er…...  efil!

opposite of life…...  politics

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hmmmmm  π

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Posted: 11 July 2008 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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BTW, I have no problem with your (George’s) point about replication. I agree with that.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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“Life” is terribly hard to define.  Mules don’t reproduce by we consider them alive.  And even if reproduction is a necessary property of life, it doesn’t seem to be a sufficient one.  Otherwise computer code could be considered alive.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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traveler - 11 July 2008 11:14 AM

A living thing is made of cells

No. Not only viruses, but other forms of life like viroids, satellites, transposons, plasmids, phagemids, cosmids, fosmids, prions, are non-cellular.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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traveler - 11 July 2008 11:19 AM

Matter is conserved.

So is the matter that you now call “you.”

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