Can a robot be called as Living thing?


by scienceisbest
Tags: called, living, robot, thing
SW VandeCarr
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#91
Feb21-11, 01:09 PM
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Quote Quote by Lievo View Post
You're illustrating a point I made earlier that the scientific definition may change if we face a robot that our brain will obviously consider alive. I was answered that the biological definition of life is narrow and focused. And excluded viruses.
Even if you choose to consider viruses as non-living, they are RNA and DNA based replicating entities which interact with cell-based life to such an extent that no biologist would deny they are proper, in fact essential, subjects in the study of living systems.
Lievo
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#92
Feb21-11, 01:38 PM
P: 268
Quote Quote by SW VandeCarr View Post
Even if you choose to consider viruses as non-living, they are RNA and DNA based replicating entities which interact with cell-based life to such an extent that no biologist would deny they are proper, in fact essential, subjects in the study of living systems.
You don't get my point. This is not my choice, but that was the choice of most biologists before the mimiviruses (I'm not sure of the present concensus). I'm just stating this an example that what we call scientific definition is obviously subject to change. Thus, when you argue that robots are not defined as living form, I'm not arguing this is not the present definition. I'm just underling that this definition may well change in the future, as it did before (at least for a couple of biologist, including me).
nismaratwork
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#93
Feb21-11, 01:49 PM
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Quote Quote by SW VandeCarr View Post
Who said these type of questions are only for philosophers? I didn't. I said this was a philosophical question. The scientific answer to the OP's question is "no". The biological definition of life is narrow and focused: RNA, DNA based replicating organisms including viruses. Prions are borderline, but are studied by biologists because they are replicating proteins and interact with living systems. Beyond this we get into opinions and speculation.

The ethical questions that might arise with intelligent robots certainly are important philosophical questions deserving serious discussion. Should a science forum deal with ethics (other than perhaps the ethics of practicing science)? I don't think so, but that doesn't mean scientists shouldn't get involved.
Quote Quote by SW VandeCarr
his question belongs in the philosophy forum, not biology. Language follows reality, not the other way around.
Huh, that seems fairly clear cut, and beyond that I'm not going on a tangent of a tangent... this isn't GD. If you want to scuttle the thread, do it alone.
SW VandeCarr
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#94
Feb21-11, 01:57 PM
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Quote Quote by Lievo View Post
You don't get my point. This is not my choice, but that was the choice of most biologists before the mimiviruses (I'm not sure of the present concensus). I'm just stating this an example that what we call scientific definition is obviously subject to change. Thus, when you argue that robots are not defined as living form, I'm not arguing this is not the present definition. I'm just underling that this definition may well change in the future, as it did before (at least for a couple of biologist, including me).
OK. But there's a difference between saying 'a virus is alive' and a virus is 'an RNA,DNA based replicating entity'. The former might be subject to change, but the latter is just a fact. I'm not saying that science forum discussions ought to only discuss facts, but they should stay within the bounds of accepted theory and conventions surrounding those facts. It probably doesn't matter that much whether you want consider viruses as alive or not as long as you accept the objective knowledge regarding viruses and their importance in biology.
nismaratwork
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#95
Feb21-11, 02:01 PM
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Quote Quote by SW VandeCarr View Post
OK. But there's a difference between saying 'a virus is alive' and a virus is 'an RNA,DNA based replicating entity'. The former might be subject to change, but the latter is just a fact. I'm not saying that science forum discussions ought to only discuss facts, but they should stay within the bounds of accepted theory and conventions surrounding those facts. It probably doesn't matter that much whether you want consider viruses as alive or not as long as you accept the objective knowledge regarding viruses and their importance in biology.
The latter is only true if they have a host to follow instructions and replicate. Ever see a "brick" of amplified Ebola?... not exactly alive if you take it out of its element.

Anyway, as the beginning of this thread proposed self-replicating machines, viruses are simply not included, de facto.
Lievo
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#96
Feb21-11, 02:04 PM
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Quote Quote by SW VandeCarr View Post
there's a difference between saying 'a virus is alive' and a virus is 'an RNA,DNA based replicating entity'. The former might be subject to change, but the latter is just a fact.
Sure! But why do you think it can change?
Grimstone
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#97
Feb22-11, 07:27 AM
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Quote Quote by Lievo View Post
Sure! But why do you think it can change?
I believe the answer to that would be skirting the definitions between alive and sentient.

To be alive, would not the subject need to be sentient as well?
Grimstone
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#98
Feb22-11, 07:29 AM
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Quote Quote by scienceisbest View Post
Can a self replicating, or self growing robot (programmed to make logical decisions) can be called as Living thing?

If not, what is the definition of living thing?
I stand on the answer of no. the robot would not be alive. as it is not sientient. you could program it to be (to a point) self aware.

but you have me whooped on
Quote Quote by scienceisbest View Post
If not, what is the definition of living thing?
Pythagorean
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#99
Feb22-11, 08:54 AM
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What if in the future we can control cells that already exist and give (take from) them the genes (and regulatory DNA) we want? And construct cell networks and get them to differentiate and reproduce in our own novel way? Then start selecting for human usefulness (while still experimenting with bio-engineering)?
DanP
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#100
Feb22-11, 09:24 AM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
And construct cell networks and get them to differentiate and reproduce in our own novel way? Then start selecting for human usefulness (while still experimenting with bio-engineering)?
Ah eugenics :P Hitler was a big fan.
nismaratwork
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#101
Feb22-11, 11:50 AM
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Quote Quote by DanP View Post
Ah eugenics :P Hitler was a big fan.
Everyone is a fan in theory, it's the practice that makes monsters.
Grimstone
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#102
Feb23-11, 12:29 PM
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we are not defining alive with "what if's".
nismaratwork
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#103
Feb23-11, 01:24 PM
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Quote Quote by Grimstone View Post
we are not defining alive with "what if's".
We define everything in those terms.
Grimstone
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#104
Feb23-11, 11:10 PM
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I do not agree. We do not define knowledge with "what it" we define it with facts, proven and re-creatable data that is as close to irrefutable as possible.

the "what ifs" are what causes science to look for the facts to prove or disprove it.

The truth is. we need the What ifs, they help the sturdy minded, non free thinking, humans to look outside the box.
nismaratwork
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#105
Feb23-11, 11:48 PM
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Quote Quote by Grimstone View Post
I do not agree. We do not define knowledge with "what it" we define it with facts, proven and re-creatable data that is as close to irrefutable as possible.

the "what ifs" are what causes science to look for the facts to prove or disprove it.

The truth is. we need the What ifs, they help the sturdy minded, non free thinking, humans to look outside the box.
Then by all means, tell me how you prove an artificial construct for humans to demarcate something that only matters to us?

The truth may be, but we deal with theories, all of which are wrong... and that's not my original thinking there. In a science as far from physics as biology, you begin to tread the waters between science and art.
Grimstone
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#106
Feb24-11, 12:41 PM
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Quote Quote by nismaratwork View Post
Then by all means, tell me how you prove an artificial construct for humans to demarcate something that only matters to us?

The truth may be, but we deal with theories, all of which are wrong... and that's not my original thinking there. In a science as far from physics as biology, you begin to tread the waters between science and art.
I may misunderstand your request to "prove an artificial construct for humans to demarcate something that only matters to us"

In truth I had to look Demarcate up.
if to make a construct set the boundaries we wish, that matter to us. its called programing.
I'm not trying to be a jerk. but i did not want to let a lack of response mean i was mistaken.


What I meant by the "what if" is that we are looking to define what is "alive" and not what if we use bioengineering to blah blah blah. it was opening a road to a different destination.
nismaratwork
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#107
Feb24-11, 04:07 PM
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Quote Quote by Grimstone View Post
I may misunderstand your request to "prove an artificial construct for humans to demarcate something that only matters to us"

In truth I had to look Demarcate up.
if to make a construct set the boundaries we wish, that matter to us. its called programing.
I'm not trying to be a jerk. but i did not want to let a lack of response mean i was mistaken.


What I meant by the "what if" is that we are looking to define what is "alive" and not what if we use bioengineering to blah blah blah. it was opening a road to a different destination.
Ahhhh... you mean what do we treat as life, vs. what we treat as a "creation" of ours and a tool?


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