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View Poll Results: Do you believe viruses and nanobes are life?
Viruses and nanobes are living. 1 20.00%
Viruses and nanobes are not living. 2 40.00%
I reserve judgement. 2 40.00%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 09-19-2012, 01:33 PM
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Default Do you believe our definitions of life should be expanded?

Do you think that our definition of life should be expanded to include nanobes and viruses? Viruses are not consider life because of their inability to reproduce without a host cell, which is odd since many of them posses their own genome. Nanobes, similarly, also posses DNA and a genome, but are incapable of reproduction without a cell host.

Do you think what constitutes life should be expanded or should we continue to consider viruses and nanobes to be inanimate material?
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Do you believe our definitions of life should be expanded?

I had to write a report of this 2 years ago for my biology class.
I do not believe that nanobes and viruses are living, due to their inability to reproduce.
I believe I used the analogy of a motorcycle to describe how, if changing the definition of a living organism, motorcycles could be considered a living thing.
The seven characteristics of living things are: feeding, movement, respiration, growth, sensitivity, and reproduction.
Motorcycles feed on gasoline as fuel, which in turn helps the motorcycle to move when turned on.
Motorcycles need to intake air in order for the spark to ignite inside the motor, again, causing the motorcycle to move. It then expels the waste product through the exhaust system. Respiration.
Motorcycles are sensitive to touch. By pressing on the brakes or the acceleration, the amount of pressure exerted by you causes the motorcycle to either slow down/accelerate slowly or rapidly.
The only two characteristics the motorcycle does not show are growth and reproduction.

If I had a copy of my original paper, I would post it on here to give a full demonstration on how the definition of life shouldn't be changed. Too bad I don't have that laptop anymore.

But yeah, the definition shouldn't be changed.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Do you believe our definitions of life should be expanded?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mintjelly View Post
I had to write a report of this 2 years ago for my biology class.
I do not believe that nanobes and viruses are living, due to their inability to reproduce.
I believe I used the analogy of a motorcycle to describe how, if changing the definition of a living organism, motorcycles could be considered a living thing.
The seven characteristics of living things are: feeding, movement, respiration, growth, sensitivity, and reproduction.
Motorcycles feed on gasoline as fuel, which in turn helps the motorcycle to move when turned on.
Motorcycles need to intake air in order for the spark to ignite inside the motor, again, causing the motorcycle to move. It then expels the waste product through the exhaust system. Respiration.
Motorcycles are sensitive to touch. By pressing on the brakes or the acceleration, the amount of pressure exerted by you causes the motorcycle to either slow down/accelerate slowly or rapidly.
The only two characteristics the motorcycle does not show are growth and reproduction.

If I had a copy of my original paper, I would post it on here to give a full demonstration on how the definition of life shouldn't be changed. Too bad I don't have that laptop anymore.

But yeah, the definition shouldn't be changed.
Do motorcycles posses genes? Can they replicate themselves? When cells reproduce using mitosis or meiosis, they are simply creating copies of themselves. The only difference is that cells do not necessarily require a host. Viruses adapt, they evolve, and more importantly, natural selective pressure apply to their existence. There are climates and environments that are "hostile" to their livelihood. I do not believe the criteria for life is precise enough.
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Last edited by Teddiursa of the Sky; 09-20-2012 at 02:06 PM.
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