A Workable Definition Of Life

  • Thread starter Max Faust
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  • #126
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*facepalm*

Never mind.
 
  • #127
DaveC426913
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...which is why I want to take it to the physicists...
It's still a philosopical question.

And welcome to the Philosophy Forum. :smile:
 
  • #128
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The reason there is no workable definition of life is simple, it doesn't exist. There is no hard distinction between matter that is alive, and matter that isn't, it's a human cognitive illusion, that's why we can't define it, that is, find that distinction, because it isn't there.

Philosophy, naïve science, for 2000 years they tried to define such things as 'life' or 'a good person' or 'to be' or 'to think' or 'to be self aware' or 'to be human' and only in the last 100 years did some people finally crack the nut, the simple answer that these things cannot be defined is because they don't exist. That humans perceive a category needn't mean it exists up to rigorous objective standards. Especially if different humans perceive differently.
 
  • #129
DaveC426913
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The reason there is no workable definition of life is simple...
The goalposts have been moved. Please see post #121 (and then 123).
 
  • #130
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The goalposts have been moved.

Actually, no, they haven't. But never mind. I'll get around to redefine the opening question at another crossroad at another time and (likely) in another place. Thank you for your contributions though. I need to refine my language, is my closing statement.
 
  • #131
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We have been through all these before

Quotes from previous replies

Unfortunately, life is not that simple!
post#6

Really this should all be in the Philosophy section.

I kind of think you have a point... except you don't.

My question is specifically about a simple definition of "life" which may be plotted into physics as a vector both on the small and the large scale.
posts #41 &42
 
  • #132
DaveC426913
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Physicists can answer your question.

"No. There is no known force or model that suggests this. Nor is there any reason to suppose so. Life follows from the physics of chemistry. Thread locked."


Now, physicists may be able to posit a more palatable answer to this - but only by taking off their physics hat and putting on their philosophy hat.

Which is why I saved your thread by getting it moved before it got locked.
 
  • #133
Pythagorean
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That being said, the third option is that life inevitably followed from the conditions that were present. i.e. on one hundred Earths in identical conditions, all of them would develop life.

My money is on this third option.

Is this nothing more than the Anthropic Principle?


I'm sorry, but this is a terribly limited view of Physics. I refuse to let biologists have all the fun (and grant money).

signed
 
  • #134
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I saved your thread by getting it moved before it got locked.

Okay.

But I will have it explicitly known that I *dreaded* to raise this issue in a philosophy forum for reasons that I think anyone with an affinity towards the cold sobriety of physics can appreciate.
 
  • #135
DaveC426913
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Is this nothing more than the Anthropic Principle?

Anthropic Principle? No.

You could make a vat of primordial soup and hit it with lightning until it developed the precursors to life, and ultimately life.

If you did this with 100 vats, and all 100 produced life, then the conclusion might be that life is not due to chance, that it is inevitable consequence of the conditions present.
 
  • #136
Pythagorean
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Anthropic Principle? No.

You could make a vat of primordial soup and hit it with lightning until it developed the precursors to life, and ultimately life.

If you did this with 100 vats, and all 100 produced life, then the conclusion might be that life is not due to chance, that it is inevitable consequence of the conditions present.

I understand what your point was, my confusion is with the anthropic principle I guess. I thought it fit the bill.

Would you state the anthropic principle for me in your own words?
 

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