CLOSED

Status
Not open for further replies.

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,808
2,252
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
Hello Bob...so is it your opinion that if just one of these traits is absent, we are dealing with non-life? Does a living thing need to possess every single one of these traits?
This looks like a trick question. You probably know of some organism that lives but violates the rules of life given in Biology 101. Why don't you just say what it is? Where is your argument that a virus is more than just nucleic acids wearing a protein coat?

Actually, the article you cite clearly does not make a definitive statement that they are a live organism. I really like this comment provided by kpchat at the end of the article:

"There's one bit of fact in this article -- that viruses share some protein folds with cellular organisms. The rest is a bunch of baseless and largely incoherent inferences. Even if viruses are the result of reductionary evolution from cells, that doesn't make them "alive" just because cells are. "alive" has a biological definition that isn't met by viruses. That definition is based on functions performed, not on evolutionary history. "
 

lj762

Explorer
Feb 18, 2017
351
218
43
Bass River State Forest
"Before all this" I used a 3M N95 particle mask with valve, when I needed to do something dusty for example. The valve helps a lot, if you get the rest of it to fit right, to prevent glasses from fogging up. With a regular N95 I would be unable to see within a minute. Of course those are now supposed to be left for people who really need them.

With a homemade cloth mask - it's iffy. It has to fit really tight around the top and nose or you get warm humid air under your glasses and you can't see. I've read that doctors have used this method: wet your glasses with soapy water, shake off and let dry, and this keeps them from fogging up. Haven't tried it.
 

lj762

Explorer
Feb 18, 2017
351
218
43
Bass River State Forest
In my opinion this is not going to go well...
I am afraid the openings won't last long, hope I'm wrong.
I hope it does last. Unfortunately there seems to be no shortage of "knuckleheads".
 

HankG

BANNED
Dec 14, 2019
70
15
8
where i am
This looks like a trick question. You probably know of some organism that lives but violates the rules of life given in Biology 101. Why don't you just say what it is? Where is your argument that a virus is more than just nucleic acids wearing a protein coat?

Actually, the article you cite clearly does not make a definitive statement that they are a live organism. I really like this comment provided by kpchat at the end of the article:

"There's one bit of fact in this article -- that viruses share some protein folds with cellular organisms. The rest is a bunch of baseless and largely incoherent inferences. Even if viruses are the result of reductionary evolution from cells, that doesn't make them "alive" just because cells are. "alive" has a biological definition that isn't met by viruses. That definition is based on functions performed, not on evolutionary history. "
Not intended to be a trick question at all.....only intended to narrow down your definition of life...I figured that by listing those traits, you were detailing the essential properties of life....I'm curious which of those traits you consider to be the bare essentials in defining life...all of them, or just some of them? If just some, which ones? Which properties do viruses lack that you think are essential to life?
 

HankG

BANNED
Dec 14, 2019
70
15
8
where i am
Actually, the article you cite clearly does not make a definitive statement that they are a live organism
Hmmm..do you think that the article was at all successful in detailing why new evidence in virology suggests viruses are alive? Surely you must have some thoughts about the evidence provided...
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,808
2,252
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
Not intended to be a trick question at all.....only intended to narrow down your definition of life...I figured that by listing those traits, you were detailing the essential properties of life....I'm curious which of those traits you consider to be the bare essentials in defining life...all of them, or just some of them? If just some, which ones? Which properties do viruses lack that you think are essential to life?
Hank, you seem agitated that you can't get your point across to those who disagree with your stance that viruses are living organisms. I'm not interested in alternate theories. I'm firmly in the camp that viruses are NOT living organisms. They cannot reproduce independently, they don't have a metabolism, nor carry out photosynthesis, or respiration functions. All of these are some of the life functions to be considered living organisms. Viruses are parasitic chemicals, fragments of DNA or RNA bounded by a protein casing. They don't even have the most basic unit of life: the cell. If you cannot accept that as proof they cannot be classified as a living organism, then I'm not sure what I can do for you. I read basic biology literature just like you do, and the preponderance of evidence indicates you are hanging on to flimsy evidence to support your position. So be it. I'm still in the same Camp; they are not living organisms. Take it or leave it. I"m not going down your rabbit hole of dubious conjecture.
 

ecampbell

Piney
Jan 2, 2003
2,548
586
1,093
Regardless of where you stand on this, they kill. They have DNA. Now take prions, they kill, are self replicating proteins, and not considered alive. My friend died of Creutrzfeldt-Jakob disease in 2016. It is the human form of mad cow. It turned his brain into Swiss Cheese. He was an avid hunter and ate a lot of deer. Think conic wasting disease, a prion! I wonder how NASA defines life if they find something on Mars.
 

imkms

Explorer
Feb 18, 2008
477
102
28
SJ and SW FL
FWIW
I don't think viruses qualify as being alive. They are, in essence, inert unless they come into contact with a living cell. There are some characteristics of viruses that put them on the borderline [of being alive] — they have genetic material: DNA or RNA.
Without a cell, a virus cannot reproduce. And so from that standpoint, it's really not alive, if you consider life to be something that can reproduce by itself independently. However, if you loosen up your definition of life to something that can make copies of itself with help, then you could call it alive.
 

c1nj

Explorer
Nov 19, 2008
154
56
28
By page 50 we will be discussing whether artificial intelligence is alive.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.