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dimreepr

Planets aren't alive

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1 minute ago, taeto said:

It is because it is the same ecosystem.

Is it?

It might be part of closed system, but it certainly isn't the same ecosystem. 

Do bee's need humans?

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11 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Do bee's need humans?

Maybe not. But since human activity affects the living conditions of bees, it is fair to declare that we do live in ecosystems that are interconnected. Depending on whichever loose definition (here we go again) of what you consider to be an ecosystem, you decide whether the quantity of interconnectivity is enough to deem our ecosystems completely fused or just weakly interconnected.  

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6 minutes ago, taeto said:

Maybe not. But since human activity affects the living conditions of bees, it is fair to declare that we do live in ecosystems that are interconnected. Depending on whichever loose definition (here we go again) of what you consider to be an ecosystem, you decide whether the quantity of interconnectivity is enough to deem our ecosystems completely fused or just weakly interconnected.

So, not the same???

There are ecosystems on this planet that are entirely removed from both humans and bees, they mostly live underground/water...

Edited by dimreepr

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Maybe, before continuing going round 'n round with this dance, we should look into a common ( or scientifically accepted ) definition for 'alive'.

Then we could all 'see', and could describe the elephant as a whole.
( referring to the blind men describing an elephant )
 

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8 minutes ago, MigL said:

Maybe, before continuing going round 'n round with this dance, we should look into a common ( or scientifically accepted ) definition for 'alive'.

Then we could all 'see', and could describe the elephant as a whole.
( referring to the blind men describing an elephant )
 

Is the elephant, in the room, alive? Or just an interpretation of life via what we think we see?

Edited by dimreepr

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16 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

So, not the same???

There are ecosystems on this planet that are entirely removed from both humans and bees, they mostly live underground/water...

Sure, we agree that if we have two collections of organisms that do not interact at all, then they live in (at least) two distinct ecosystems. It is up to a definitorial property of an ecosystem whether humans and bees live in the same or in different ones. It is when, as you suggested, the ecosystems of bees and humans interact, whether that means that the two ecosystems necessarily fuse into one. It is not necessarily a scientific point. We can analyse any system of interactions between organisms as if they comprise an ecosystem. If they live together in an ecosystem that is not actually closed, we just have to adjust our conclusion to accommodate this fact.

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5 hours ago, studiot said:

Which nicely illustrates the one point I have been consistently making.

It is not a simple life/not-life classification; it is far more complicated than that.

 

Well that is what I said for...years (including above)? So it seems we are in agreement as a whole. It is a useful categorization such as "species" that is useful but not necessarily a specific and consistent trait itself. See also String's post which eloquently makes the point. I would add usefulness on top of convenience, perhaps. 

With regards to OP we can ask what can we learn if we treat the Earth as an organism (like the Gaia hypothesis)?

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1 minute ago, CharonY said:

With regards to OP we can ask what can we learn if we treat the Earth as an organism (like the Gaia hypothesis)?

We can learn to live with it...

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8 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

We can learn to live with it...

Very nice, +1. 

Although treating Earth as an organism still seems crude. You cannot safely take what Earth has that somehow corresponds to a human leg and amputate it, or remove what corresponds to a kidney. If we treat Earth instead as an ecosystem, we would know that whatever we do to either part of it necessarily has an effect on every other part. And this is where you have to start taking in account what happens when you severe the wing of the butterfly that lives in the Amazon jungle.

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On 2/20/2020 at 2:37 PM, MigL said:

By any definition, something that is alive, must

Feed
Expel waste
Reproduce

None of those criteria are met by the closed system that is planet Earth.

The metaphysical is not scientific.

I'm no expert, but I'd of thought the Earth met those criteria very well. 

  1. The Earth cannot survive without the Sun, everything living on it and growing from it would die, hence the sun is feeding the earth light and heat.
  2. Everything naturally grown from the earth appears to die in one sense or another, surely that is recycled waste?
  3. Recycled waste is not necessarily dead as far as the living planet earth is concerned, hence new trees grow, plants grow each year, so their seed must evolve from the waste of some description!

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10 minutes ago, Casio said:

I'm no expert, but I'd of thought the Earth met those criteria very well.

Not so well; depending on the definition of life.

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Posted (edited)
On 2/22/2020 at 4:43 PM, dimreepr said:

Is the elephant, in the room, alive?

Not elephant, but cat.. and not in the room, but in the box.. ;)

Quote

Or just an interpretation of life via what we think we see?

So, even though you collapsed his/her/its wave-function by act of observation (measurement of the state), you are still uncertain whether cat is alive or not.. ? That's completely new QM interpretation.. ;)

QM founders are spinning in the grave. Cat/elephant can be virtual, collapse/observation can be virtual too... The uncertainty about everything has taken to a whole new level..

 

Edited by Sensei

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Just my opinion... I think cell (prokaryotic, eukaryiotic) is certainly alive. Boundaries between superstructures built from cells don't seem so sharp to me - so I don't really see why we wouldn't call an ecosystem alive if we already call an organism alive. Both are is just a bunch of living cells coexisting together.

You might say, for example, that a human cell cannot live without the rest of the human organism. But it does not mean that the cell is not alive - it merely means that the cell cannot survive out of its 'ecosystem' (human body)... What makes the cell alive, in my opinion, is that it is capable to maintain its own internal complexity taking only simpler ingredients from its surrounding.

I know how foggy it sounds. I always felt that a proper definition of life has to have something to do with maintaining local complexity (despite the odds of natural randomization). I was however never capable to produce a sharp definition.

Regarding the OP: I would never say the planet Earth is alive. But I might be prone to say that global Earth's ecosystem is alive.

Somebody mentioned fire: I wouldn't call fire alive... Hmm, is it more complex than the fuel it consumes? If yes, I must admit I would be pressed to explain why not.

Virus (not alive), imo, does not reproduce itself. It is being reproduced.

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