What Defines Life?

I think this post is going to start a series of posts relating science and religion in ways you may have never wanted to see them related.  But, as one of my stipules of life is to do just that – relate everything back to the way I see life – to challenge my ideas and to improve my sense of the world around me and world view – it seems that that is the direction that I am headed in today.

Anyway, today we get to the definition of life.  It is usually one of the first things that a biology class goes over.  Of course, “biology” does mean study of life, so it would only make sense.  A lot of people probably get over that question real quick, but viruses are that half and half thing that make the definition relatively important.

For me, the definition got old about four years ago in the sophomore year of high school.  It was “wow, cool” and then nothing more.  Granted, I’ve seen the exact same definition in about 5 different college level science classes.  But nonetheless. The definition of life normally includes the following factors: metabolism, growth, movement, communication…

But what about us?  We tend to view the world as living.  The entire world.  The rocks and the trees and the fire and the wind.  How do we get these two views to mesh?

I suppose when I can get my thoughts in order, I’ll answer that.


2 responses to “What Defines Life?

  1. Science is reexamining what constitutes life as well as what was first life on Earth. I previous dogma was that life had to be free living and not interdependent on other life forms–hence viruses were not living. We now know that every living creature needs a host of other “life forms” to exist–including humans.

  2. Pingback: Were viruses first life? | Healing The Rift

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