Author Topic: The first wet alife?  (Read 6827 times)

Offline Endy

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The first wet alife?
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2009, 01:58:00 PM »
I'm still not sure that being able to reproduce should be a requirement. There are many who lack the ability to reproduce but are still living. Something more along the lines of, having the potential at any point in its life to have been able to reproduce; would be more inclusive.

I think death is a requirement too, but that brings into question of whether immortality for humans would make us less alive.

Offline Testlund

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The first wet alife?
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2009, 02:09:31 PM »
How about this: The earth is alive. The moon is dead.  

The earth is like a living cell and we're just parts of the machinery.  

Nums explanation makes sense from a humans part of view. But I think the most important is to find the real truth in all of this, so one can make a good judgement. We value things depending on how much we understand about it. For instance cutting down trees without a second thought is easier than shooting animals, because we value it differently.
If we think that everything has equal value on earth we might take better care of it. Not cutting down more trees than necessary for survival for instance.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 02:25:21 PM by Testlund »
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Offline Numsgil

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The first wet alife?
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2009, 02:17:08 PM »
Quote from: ikke
Quote from: Numsgil
That's a pretty narrow definition.  Would mean trees aren't alive.
One could argue that for instance a tree's response to parasites can be proof of sentience


Quote from: Testlund
How about this: The earth is alive. The moon is dead.  

Now you're getting in to Gaia theory

Offline multibotlover

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The first wet alife?
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2009, 11:27:38 AM »
I think that the best definition of life is "a system that uses energy, requires food, can grow and reproduce, and is capable of taking on darwinian evolution.

but thats just my opinion.

Offline cliftut

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The first wet alife?
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2009, 12:55:52 AM »
I believe that a good definition for life should be as unassumptive as possible. For instance, we do not know for certain that some form of what we might call "life" exists within energy fields, or even a matter based life form which is not composed of cells, but a crystalline or molecular-tissue based structure. I believe that a flexible definition is necessary to allow for such possibilities. The more rules our definition has, the higher the chance that a discovery in the future will force a major revision.

This in mind, I'll attempt:
'An entity with the ability to change either in structure or in behavior, this change being initiated by the entity. This change may be gradual, or take place between generations if reproduction or division is in its nature.'

Hopefully this is robust enough, without being so broad as to serve no purpose. It frees us from some of the assumptions common in many definitions of life, I think. This allows for those things currently considered to be alive, while allowing for other, possibly very different forms.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2009, 12:56:05 AM by cliftut »
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Offline Numsgil

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The first wet alife?
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2009, 05:42:29 PM »
What about fire?  Doesn't fire "change in structure" as it starts growing and spreading?

Offline Prsn828

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The first wet alife?
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2009, 02:15:59 PM »
Quote from: Numsgil
What about fire?  Doesn't fire "change in structure" as it starts growing and spreading?

I agree with nums. By your definition a tree is non-living, but fire is living.  Or maybe it is   just happens to be the easiest life to form.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2009, 02:16:42 PM by Prsn828 »
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Offline cliftut

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The first wet alife?
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2009, 03:24:29 AM »
numsgil: Flame is just a chemical reaction that emits light, so I'm not sure that it even fits here. It's more of a process than an object in itself, but maybe life could arise as a form of organization within an energy flow...  Maybe I should remove the word structure from the definition though. That might solve this issue.

prsn828: I don't think a tree would be non living. A tree has the ability to change in behavior between generations because of DNA mutations. Thus, it fits my definition.


There are definitely many complex things to take into account. As far as I've noticed, we tend to either end up calling everything alive or make a definition that doesn't allow for unknown forms of life.

Here's the wikipedia "conventional" definition:

   1. Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, electrolyte concentration or sweating to reduce temperature.
  2. Organization: Being structurally composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.
  3. Metabolism: Consumption of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
  4. Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of synthesis than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter. The particular species begins to multiply and expand as the evolution continues to flourish.
  5. Adaptation: The ability to change over a period of time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity as well as the composition of metabolized substances, and external factors present.
  6. Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism to external chemicals, to complex reactions involving all the senses of higher animals. A response is often expressed by motion, for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun (phototropism) and chemotaxis.
  7. Reproduction: The ability to produce new organisms. Reproduction can be the division of one cell to form two new cells. Usually the term is applied to the production of a new individual (either asexually, from a single parent organism, or sexually, from at least two differing parent organisms), although strictly speaking it also describes the production of new cells in the process of growth.

By this definition I think some types of alife can be considered alive. Darwinbots and Evolve 4.0 seem to fit well enough, if any alife does.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 03:49:46 AM by cliftut »
I want these graphs to look superb. ...
I want these graphs to be scalable. ...
I want these to be the smoothest, most user friendly aspect of the program. I want people to marvel at our superb graphs.
             -Numsgil, motivational speaker at work. ;)

Offline Numsgil

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The first wet alife?
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2009, 05:22:03 AM »
Quote
Flame is just a chemical reaction that emits light, so I'm not sure that it even fits here.

Life can also be thought of as "just a chemical reaction".  Fire is on the simple side of "life like processes", but there are even more ambiguous structures.  Oil in water can form microscopic oil droplets which are sort of like life.  I remember reading a long time ago that plasma under the right circumstances can sort of resemble life.

A clear cut definition is difficult.  The wiki one is very specific.  (When it talks about cells, it means biological cells.  Bots can't be considered alive under that definition since they're just a simple simulation).

Offline Prsn828

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The first wet alife?
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2009, 08:03:53 AM »
I'm glad I'm not the only one that knows about Evolve 4.0
I still wouldn't compare it to DB though; we are way ahead of that petty level, lol.
So, what will it be? Will you submit to my will, or must I bend reality to suit my needs?
Better answer before I do BOTH!