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eric, what you're demanding, an "exact formula," is not reasonable. There is no secret formula for life. A living thing is just any arrangement of matter and energy that carries out the functions of life, specifically metabolism, growth, reproduction, homeostasis, response to stimuli, etc. There is no precise and universal definition, but that's basically it. If you want an example of how atoms might be arranged to create a living thing, then just look at any living thing. There's no point demanding anyone here give you an exact formula, though, since even the very simplest living things are far more complicated than can be described in a simple formula. It's not a matter of "3 cups of carbon, 2 cups of oxygen, cook on 350 for 45 minutes...."

 

Similar to how there is no formula for what makes, say, a computer. If someone was angrily asking you over and over what makes a computer, and how can a computer be made of atoms if atoms can't compute anything, etc., how would you respond?

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Eric: What makes you think that life is a distinct entity separate from that of its molecular makeup..Is it a metaphysical force that somehow 'connects' with the physical system of atoms/molecules that it resides in?.

 

If this is your view then you are supporting a view of the nature of life similar to a religious person...that living things have souls or spirits or suchlike.

 

A view like this is based on belief not evidence...unless you have some evidence that life really is this way, that you would care to share, which contradicts the mainstream scientific view.?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Eric, I submit to you Conway's Game of Life:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_game_of_life

 

In essence, a grid of blocks bound by very simple rules somehow manage to interact, form patterns, and do all sorts of very interesting things. In fact, the grid becomes a Turing machine capable of performing any calculation, as long as you can figure out how to arrange the blocks initially.

 

Somehow these arrangements of blocks manage to interact to form moving "guns" and "gliders" that fly across the grid -- but one block by itself does nothing.

 

See, something made of very simple parts can exhibit behaviors that the parts alone would not suggest. Computers are made of atoms, and atoms can't calculate; computers can calculate. Crowds are made of people, and crowds can riot and do the Wave and so on; one person isn't a crowd, and one person can't do the wave. So why can't humans be built of atoms that aren't alive?

 

We have never found anything else that humans are made of, so the burden of proof is on you to establish that there is something else.

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What do you think about Ghost hunters International.

 

I think its all made up on fear of imagination.

Yeah, I think it's a load of bullstink which preys upon the non-scientific minds who are fascinated with souls and spirits.

 

Any apparitions seen are more indicative of faulty interpretation of natural neural processes than they are of dead ancestors floating about as wispy spirits.

 

 

Hey... what was that sound!?! Oh, wait... that's not grandma... it was just the house settling and shifting with the wind. :rolleyes:

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eric, what you're demanding, an "exact formula," is not reasonable.

 

Not reasonable? This is science. Science is exact. If you think that life is a bunch if atoms then just tell me where you got this idea. Did you make it up? Or is it a scientific fact? Fact or opinion? Which is it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is no secret formula for life. A living thing is just any arrangement of matter and energy that carries out the functions of life, specifically metabolism, growth, reproduction, homeostasis, response to stimuli, etc. There is no precise and universal definition, but that's basically it.

 

Are you serious? You are saying that there is no universal definition of life. WOW! So what are the definitions of life in all the standard scientific dictionaries, just made up private definitions?

 

There are standard universal definitions of life. If life is a bunch of atoms show the scientific evidence or at least where you are getting this idea. Can you logically describe how atoms become alive. Just provide that and then we can go from there. You telling me that a bunch of atoms become alive is not scientific evidence. You say atoms can become alive, great, so how did you come to this conclusion?

 

 

 

 

 

If you want an example of how atoms might be arranged to create a living thing, then just look at any living thing. There's no point demanding anyone here give you an exact formula, though, since even the very simplest living things are far more complicated than can be described in a simple formula. It's not a matter of "3 cups of carbon, 2 cups of oxygen, cook on 350 for 45 minutes...."

 

No, I am not looking for an example. Where is the science? You say it is so. Is that fact or opinion?

 

FACT? If so then please provide evidence.

 

OPINION?

 

 

 

Similar to how there is no formula for what makes, say, a computer. If someone was angrily asking you over and over what makes a computer, and how can a computer be made of atoms if atoms can't compute anything, etc., how would you respond?

 

 

I really do not mean to be rude here, but you do not know what you are saying. In fact you have shown that you are either truly ignorant or are careless with your statements.

 

 

 

Similar to how there is no formula for what makes, say, a computer

 

THERE IS AN EXACT FORMULA TO MAKE A WORKING COMPUTER. Man makes computers everyday. Man knows exactly how to make a computer. Every part of a computer can be exactly identified and described exactly by science. Computers are made of matter and are non living. Trying to prove your point regarding life is made from atoms by making some comparison about computers is like trying to prove life is made of atoms by talking about rocks or plastic or spark plugs or TVs.

 

Stick to the subject.

 

Does science provide evidence that atoms are alive or a group of atoms become alive? Y/N.

 

Stop with your comparisons. Where is the science that shows atoms are alive or that a group of atoms become alive.

 

I am a scientific purist, 100% science is the only acceptable answer. If you want to discuss how you THINK atoms become alive, well that is fine, just state that this is your opinion and has no basis in science. If you know of science that states empirically that a group of atoms become alive, then just provide the evidence. This is so simple I just don’t see why people continue to state their opinion when there is science to back up their point. There is science that states atoms become alive right?

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Sisysphus's point is that there are many different ways to make a computer, just like there are many different forms and kinds of life. A computer can be made of gears and mechanical linkages and still compute, with no need for electricity at all.

 

The fact is that there are numerous ways life can manifest itself.

 

Can you present something other than atoms that might be contained in something alive? After all, we can argue about this for hours, but the fact is that nobody has ever found anything but atoms in living things. If you can prove otherwise, please do.

 

I'm interested in hearing what things besides atoms you think it is possible to make life out of.

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Eric: What makes you think that life is a distinct entity separate from that of its molecular makeup..Is it a metaphysical force that somehow 'connects' with the physical system of atoms/molecules that it resides in?.

 

If this is your view then you are supporting a view of the nature of life similar to a religious person...that living things have souls or spirits or suchlike.

 

A view like this is based on belief not evidence...unless you have some evidence that life really is this way, that you would care to share, which contradicts the mainstream scientific view.?.

 

Wow! Someone actually asked me what I think on this subject. Here is the point that I am trying to make, suppose that I do not have any idea what life is. Suppose that I am not a believer (as in those who believe that there is a God in the sky). Suppose that I have found that everything up to this point can be described by 100% science. Now with all that in mind, what is the scientific evidence that states life is a bunch of atoms? If science knows the exact operation of how atoms become alive then they could recreate life at will. Science cannot do this and science does not understand what makes life. So life is a mystery or unsolved question as far as science is concerned, so anyone who states that life is a bunch of atoms is not working from the viewpoint of science. So my questioning of anyone regarding this topic is not to invalidate them but to get them to think. What is life? That is the question. If it is a bunch of atoms then where is the evidence and the experiments that show man can create life from 100% atoms. That’s all.

 

I just want to have a discussion on this topic yet I find that those who think life is a bunch of atoms cannot provide any scientific evidence.

 

Lets just talk, look at this question anew.

 

I say that there has to be something other then just pure atoms that make life, I was hoping that someone here would be willing to discuss this topic with an open mind. There has to be some kind of energy or force or whatever you want to call it that makes life or is life. Forget all that religious stuff. Can you state with confidence that life is made of a group of atoms?.


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Sisysphus's point is that there are many different ways to make a computer, just like there are many different forms and kinds of life. A computer can be made of gears and mechanical linkages and still compute, with no need for electricity at all.

 

The fact is that there are numerous ways life can manifest itself.

 

Can you present something other than atoms that might be contained in something alive? After all, we can argue about this for hours, but the fact is that nobody has ever found anything but atoms in living things. If you can prove otherwise, please do.

 

I'm interested in hearing what things besides atoms you think it is possible to make life out of.

 

 

These are good questions. The whole point here is that I may not know what life is. But scientifically speaking, life is not a bunch of atoms. Yes there are many forms of matter that exhibit life. But those forms remain the same atomically whether they are dead or alive. There is no difference.

 

Look, you guys keep talking of computers to make some connection that it has something to do with atoms becoming alive.

 

There are many different rocks, glass, cars, planes, boats, guns, ink, on and on. Computers are made from matter and energy. Computers are not alive. The construction of computers has no bearing on how atoms become alive.

 

Look at this question from a scientific viewpoint.

 

Is one atom alive? Y/N

 

If yes then where is the evidence?

If no then are two atoms alive? Is there a magic number of atoms to make the whole group alive? Y/N

 

If two or more atoms have the ability to become alive then, is there any evidence of this? Y/N

 

If yes, then where is it?

If no, then what data are you working from in order to state that life is made of atoms?

 

This is so easy to boil down. Is life 100% atoms? Y/N

 

If yes then where is then scientific explanation?

 

If no, then lets look into this further?

 

This is what I am looking to do, look a bit further.

 

It has been said through out the ages by many philosophers that man is composed of body, mind and spirit.

 

Can we currently describe what a body is? Y/N. I say yes.

 

Can we currently describe what a mind is? Y/N. I say that science, philosophy, the humanities are still unsure. This area needs more research.

 

Can we currently describe what a spirit is? Y/N. HA, HA. This topic is very undefined as far as todays science or religion is concerned. Look there either is a soul, spirt, or not.

 

You would think that if there was a soul we would know all about it or at least know that it exists, right?

 

Well apparently we can not say that there is a soul. Yet we cannot rule out the fact that there is something in this universe that provides life or is life, that divides the non living from the living.

 

It cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that there could be a something that we could call a soul or spirit.

 

This brings us to the question: Is life 100% atoms or is there more to this?

 

I say that there is more. What that more is, is what I would like to discuss.

 

Just take a look at the laws of motion. These laws have no exception. A body at rest will remain at rest until acted upon by an outside force.

 

Take your right hand and decide to place it on a flat surface. Keep your right hand on the surface and hold it still. Once you have decided that you have kept your hand still, move your right hand off the flat surface.

 

Now I will ask you, what moved your hand (that mass)?

 

You might say that it was electro-chemical reactions in your brain. What started these electro-chemical reactions?

 

You see, there was a moment in time before you decided to move your hand. That right hand was located in a particular position in space. Then you decided to move that mass. Did chemicals, atoms decide to move the right hand?

 

When your right hand is resting on the flat surface and you have decided that it is at rest (still) then you moved that right hand, that mass was at rest and then it was in motion. A body at rest will remain at rest until acted upon by an outside force.

 

What is this outside force? Chemicals? Atoms? Fine, If that is what you think then what moved those atoms or chemicals? What gave the impetus to initiate the motion of these atoms, electrons? Did the atoms, electrons decide to move?

 

All matter and energy in this physical universe are at effect. There is no incident of any piece of matter or energy deciding to go against the laws of nature. All matter and energy change course or existing state through an influence by an outside force.

 

On the moving of the right hand example, go ahead and work out how that hand moved. If you end up with some concept that this atom, chemical, electron did such and such, well go one step further and figure out what initiated this activity.

 

Yes the human body has a nervous system, this system is a path way for electrical impulses to travel. This system does not initiate electrical impulses. The brain is part of this system, just flesh, just atoms and electrons. What is the initial impulse that starts the whole action of the motion of a right hand that was at rest?

 

This gets at the heart of what is life. What do you think?


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Eric, I submit to you Conway's Game of Life:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_game_of_life

 

In essence, a grid of blocks bound by very simple rules somehow manage to interact, form patterns, and do all sorts of very interesting things. In fact, the grid becomes a Turing machine capable of performing any calculation, as long as you can figure out how to arrange the blocks initially.

 

Somehow these arrangements of blocks manage to interact to form moving "guns" and "gliders" that fly across the grid -- but one block by itself does nothing.

 

See, something made of very simple parts can exhibit behaviors that the parts alone would not suggest. Computers are made of atoms, and atoms can't calculate; computers can calculate. Crowds are made of people, and crowds can riot and do the Wave and so on; one person isn't a crowd, and one person can't do the wave. So why can't humans be built of atoms that aren't alive?

 

We have never found anything else that humans are made of, so the burden of proof is on you to establish that there is something else.

 

I have been referred to this game before. Here I go again. We can agree that we are having a discussion on life and what makes life. This game has no connection or provides any logical evidence of how life got started or what makes life. First, life came before this game, the game was created by life in a mathematical form as a game, it is not scientific evidence of how life got started or what life is.

 

Second, this game already starts out with blocks that are alive. The game already has life in it. It does not start out with complete non-living blocks and then show how these blocks become alive.

 

This is just a game and is not used as evidence to support how life got started or what life is.

 

The game is not alive, it is mathematical entertainment. All actions of this game have been predetermined by man. The game does not decide to do anything nor does it have any concept of what it is doing.

 

I could go on and on about this game, but the last time I did on another forum someone got offended and I was banned for three days.

 

I can only hope that you are better than that. I have already earned an infraction on this forum for the communication I have stated regarding my thoughts on this topic.

 

Hey, if you can’t win an argument or provide scientific evidence why not use infractions and threats to prove your point. This of course is not aimed at you, I just thought that it was a bit unjust.

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Wow! Someone actually asked me what I think on this subject. Here is the point that I am trying to make, suppose that I do not have any idea what life is. Suppose that I am not a believer (as in those who believe that there is a God in the sky). Suppose that I have found that everything up to this point can be described by 100% science. Now with all that in mind, what is the scientific evidence that states life is a bunch of atoms? If science knows the exact operation of how atoms become alive then they could recreate life at will. Science cannot do this and science does not understand what makes life. So life is a mystery or unsolved question as far as science is concerned, so anyone who states that life is a bunch of atoms is not working from the viewpoint of science. So my questioning of anyone regarding this topic is not to invalidate them but to get them to think. What is life? That is the question. If it is a bunch of atoms then where is the evidence and the experiments that show man can create life from 100% atoms. That’s all.

 

I just want to have a discussion on this topic yet I find that those who think life is a bunch of atoms cannot provide any scientific evidence.

 

Lets just talk, look at this question anew.

 

I say that there has to be something other then just pure atoms that make life, I was hoping that someone here would be willing to discuss this topic with an open mind. There has to be some kind of energy or force or whatever you want to call it that makes life or is life. Forget all that religious stuff. Can you state with confidence that life is made of a group of atoms?.

 

It has not been observed (by any means) that life exists anywhere other than as a property of atoms and molecules. Have you seen life anywhere other than as a property of certain groups of atoms?

 

Life is a force or an energy but it's inextricably bound as a property or effect of atoms and not distinct from them

 

Your problem of accepting this is similar to the problem some people have of the 'mind' which is just the sum total of all the biochemical/neural l processes that occur within the brain...nothing more.

 

I don't see how we can discuss what life is in any other way, other than in a metaphysical sense, which is not science.

 

What observations have you made that determines that there has to be something other than molecules that make life?

 

Think about it, what else exists in the universe besides molecules that life could be a property of....nothing.

 

Yes, life is just a bunch of atoms.

 

And don't say but...but....we'll only end up going in circles.:eyebrow:

 

I will now enter into a state of intransigence and unresponsiveness unless you can come up with good factual evidence to the contrary >:D

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Which came first? The atom or the living system?

 

The atom.

 

Alright, excuse me for being specific, but this is a science form, which part of the atom is alive?

 

Living systems are made out of large collections of atoms. The question is nonsense. Living systems are made out of one or more cells, which are macrostructures which are made out of molecules and in turn atoms.

 

Cars are made out of atoms. Would you ask what part of an atom is a car?

 

All living things are aware of their environment. More advanced life forms have more advanced awareness. All living things are aware to some degree.

 

I think you're confusing "aware" with "react". Awareness implies consciousness. The reactions of most life systems to their environment (e.g. plants, fungi, bacteria, protists) is little more than a chemical reaction to the outside environment. This makes them no more "aware" of their outside environment than your thermostat clicking on whenever a room gets too cold.

 

What is your take on the idea that man is made of a body, mind and spirit?

 

Mind is a metaphysical construct which arises from the brain, which is part of the body. There is no "spirit".

 

Consciousness is a function of LIVING THINGS.

 

Consciousness is presently only exhibited by living systems, but that does not preclude non-living systems from becoming conscious any more than animals being the only things that could fly precluding the creation of airplanes.

 

Once man has mastered the principles behind consciousness (or more specifically, the physical systems which implement consciousness such as the human brain) man will be able to create non-living (in the traditional sense) conscious entities.

 

Consciousness does not come before life. Non living things do not become conscious and then become alive. Computers would have to be alive before then are conscious.

 

Do airplanes have to be alive in order to fly?

 

So is all matter. If a living system were entirely physical then it would be matter. There would be no difference at the sub-atomic level between the living and the non living.

 

There is no different at the sub-atomic level between the living and the non-living. Life systems are made out of the same elementary particles as the rest of the universe.

 

This is not the case, so what is that thing that separates those things that are alive and those things that are not?

 

Living systems exhibit cellular respiration. When cellular respiration ceases, so does life.

 

Sounds like you have been exposed to the theory of Biocentrism. Is that what you are getting at here?

 

No, I'm talking about Hofstadter's idea of Strange Loops

 

I'm afraid I've run out of gas responding to your Herculean post. Sorry.

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Not reasonable? This is science. Science is exact.

 

But what you're asking is not, nor is it even coherent. What do you mean by "formula?"

 

If you think that life is a bunch if atoms then just tell me where you got this idea. Did you make it up? Or is it a scientific fact? Fact or opinion? Which is it?

 

It is fact, as far as we know (which is pretty far).

 

Are you serious? You are saying that there is no universal definition of life. WOW! So what are the definitions of life in all the standard scientific dictionaries, just made up private definitions?

 

There is no universal standard definition, no. Definitions given are going to be variations on a basic premise, which I gave. However, there is no hard and fast line between living and nonliving. Some cases are grey areas, and some fit one definition but not another. Life is messy, basically. That's something you really need to understand.

 

There are standard universal definitions of life. If life is a bunch of atoms show the scientific evidence or at least where you are getting this idea. Can you logically describe how atoms become alive. Just provide that and then we can go from there. You telling me that a bunch of atoms become alive is not scientific evidence. You say atoms can become alive, great, so how did you come to this conclusion?

 

Well, every living thing is a bunch of atoms, so clearly it's possible. If you want to know how you, personally, became alive, you should look into sex ed. Life is a continuous reaction, and you owe your independent existence to your parents. If you want to know how the "first living thing" became alive, then you should look into hypotheses of abiogenesis. What you need to understand, though, is that there was no "magic spark," no clearly defined moment when the inanimate became animate. What counts as life and what does not is ultimately arbitrary.

 

No, I am not looking for an example. Where is the science? You say it is so. Is that fact or opinion?

 

FACT? If so then please provide evidence.

 

I honestly don't know what you're looking for.

 

I really do not mean to be rude here, but you do not know what you are saying. In fact you have shown that you are either truly ignorant or are careless with your statements.

 

Well aren't you adorable?

 

THERE IS AN EXACT FORMULA TO MAKE A WORKING COMPUTER.

 

No, there is not. There are lots of ways to make computers. An infinite number of ways, actually, if all you're trying to do is make something that satisfies the definition of "computer." So too with life.

 

Man makes computers everyday. Man knows exactly how to make a computer. Every part of a computer can be exactly identified and described exactly by science.

 

And yet you or I cannot, can we? Computers are complicated. A human being is much, much more complicated than that. We can, however, "exactly identify and describe" something like a simple virus.

 

Computers are made of matter and are non living. Trying to prove your point regarding life is made from atoms by making some comparison about computers is like trying to prove life is made of atoms by talking about rocks or plastic or spark plugs or TVs.

 

You're the one who is insisting they're fundamentally different, not me. I say it's a fine analogy. Here's another: "Chairs are made of matter and cannot compute anything. Trying to prove your point regarding computers are made from atoms by make some comparison about chairs like trying to prove that computers are made of atoms by talking about rocks or spark plugs or TVs."

 

Does science provide evidence that atoms are alive or a group of atoms become alive? Y/N.

 

An atom is not alive. An atom is an atom. All living things we know of, just like pretty much all other physical objects, are made of atoms.

 

Stop with your comparisons. Where is the science that shows atoms are alive or that a group of atoms become alive.

 

Look in the mirror!

 

I am a scientific purist, 100% science is the only acceptable answer. If you want to discuss how you THINK atoms become alive, well that is fine, just state that this is your opinion and has no basis in science. If you know of science that states empirically that a group of atoms become alive, then just provide the evidence. This is so simple I just don’t see why people continue to state their opinion when there is science to back up their point. There is science that states atoms become alive right?

 

I don't know what you're talking about, and I doubt that you have a clear idea, either. What do you mean by "science that empirically states that a group of atoms become alive?" Beside the fact that you're a group of atoms and you are alive (and haven't always been, presumably), what kind of thing are you looking for?

 

EDIT:

 

Ok, how about some basic reading:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence

Edited by Sisyphus
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Pretty far, actually. While parts have been made to work in vitro, so far no complete, synthetic living cells have been generated from scratch. In all cases the basis for any "synthetic" organism thus far, is an already existing cell. The only thing that was synthetic in one case was the synthesis of the DNA (though the sequence is based on an existing organism).

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It will be a profound moment in the history of science when we can produce, from scratch, a purely organic, synthetic organism from scratch with its own unique DNA profile won't it?....as far away as it may seem at the moment. It will be be like when our ancestors discovered and mastered fire....a whole new ball game!

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I will not criticize on this topic! Besides shooting it down, and saying it's all in the head...Why not do some scientific research in this field. There's obviously, many things that can't be explained, and answered. Are we not surrounded be the infinite vastness of a mysterious universe. And if the universe is constantly changing with the things that are visible and not seen, and with its many things that we call phenomenon's. Can't we say then, that there are forces ( Spiritual or not spiritual; however, you may call it) Surrounding us. Remember, we are but just a small planet, surrounded by the phenomenal complexed universe. I been thinking a lot... How...Do we as beings, interact with the universe...Alive...or dead... And, if we are dead. Does the energy that I once had as a living being, cease to exists? Or does it return to its cosmic place that created me in the first place. If our universe is a place of an infinite source of energy, that creates planets, stares, Galaxies, and life. Then, the universe itself, is as a living entity. (Just saying)... But, I read this, " Until about thirty years ago, astronomers thought that the universe was composed almost entirely of this "baryonic matter", ordinary atoms. However, in the past few decades, there has been ever more evidence accumulating that suggests there is something in the universe that we cannot see, perhaps some new form of matter. The age of the universe is controlled by the basic rules that govern matter, energy, and time.

A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. (Albert Einstein, 1954)

:rolleyes:

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I will not criticize on this topic! Besides shooting it down, and saying it's all in the head...Why not do some scientific research in this field. There's obviously, many things that can't be explained, and answered. Are we not surrounded be the infinite vastness of a mysterious universe.

 

There are mysteries in cosmology, but much is understood.

 

And if the universe is constantly changing with the things that are visible and not seen, and with its many things that we call phenomenon's. Can't we say then, that there are forces ( Spiritual or not spiritual; however, you may call it) Surrounding us.

 

Yes, there are four forces surrounding us:

 

  • strong force
  • weak force
  • electromagnetic force
  • gravitational force

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Just to be clear, I am saying that LIFE is not made of atoms. I am saying atoms are not alive.

 

Individual atoms are not alive. By "atoms" we mean things like a single carbon atom or a single helium atom.

 

You do know that atoms combine to form molecules, right? Hydrogen does not exist as a single atom in nature, but as a molecule of two hydrogen atoms.

 

Life is chemistry. That's what the whole field of biochemistry is about: looking at the chemistry that makes up living organisms.

 

My question is, what is life.

 

Life is an entity that has all 4 of the following characteristics:

1. Metabolism (anabolism and catabolism)

2. Growth

3. Response to stimuli

4. Reproduction.

 

Fire has all but anabolism, therefore it is not alive.

 

Modern life is a group of many types of molecules: proteins, nucleic acids, sugars, lipids, porphyrins, etc. in many different combinations. For instance, many proteins are glycoproteins, which mean they have some molecules of sugar attached. Many of the molecules are polymers. That is, they are long strings of smaller molecules. Proteins are polymers of amino acids. Amino acids in turn are molecules composed of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen. These atoms can be arranged in many different combinations. There are thousands of possible amino acids, but proteins in modern cells use 20 different amino acids.

 

If life is made of a specific quantity of certain atoms in an exact quantity, then that would be covered by chemistry. So what is the chemistry of life, if it is 100% atoms?

 

Biochemistry. There are entire huge textbooks on the subject. I suggest Lenninger's Biochemistry. It is more readable than many others. The subdiscipline of chemistry dealing with how life arises from non-living chemicals is called abiogenesis. Much of abiogenesis deals with a specific aspect of life: directed protein synthesis. This is how DNA/RNA codes for individual proteins arose.

 

There are several ways that you can get life arising from non-life. Here is just one of them:

http://www.theharbinger.org/articles/rel_sci/fox.html

http://www.siu.edu/~protocell/

 

Basically, you start with amino acids. These are formed by a number of chemical reactions from methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, cyanide, etc.

 

If proteins are either dry heated or heated at underwater hydrothermal vents, they form proteins. If water is added to the dry heated proteins (like in a tidal pool) or the water in the hydrothermal vent cools (as it moves away from the volcanic vent), the proteins spontaneously form cells the size of bacteria. Each cell contains roughly 10^9 - 10^12 protein molecules. That's 1 billion to 1 trillion protein molecules. Remember, 1 mole of any compound contains 6.022 x 10^23 molecules. That's a huge number of molecules. So even a small cell is going to have a lot of protein molecules in it. (BTW, the number comes from calculations and estimates of the number of protein molecules in a liver cell: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bv.fcgi?rid=mcb.section.199)

 

Each of those proteins has A biological activity. It may be structural or it may be enzymatic, or both. Together, they have enough biological activity for the cell to be alive: it has both anabolism and catabolism, grows (by absorbing more proteins and making new ones), responds to stimuli (has an action potential like a nerve cell), and reproduces (by both budding and fission like bacteria). Thus, the cells are alive.

 

Does that answer your question about number and type of molecules for life?

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It has not been observed (by any means) that life exists anywhere other than as a property of atoms and molecules. Have you seen life anywhere other than as a property of certain groups of atoms?

 

Life is a force or an energy but it's inextricably bound as a property or effect of atoms and not distinct from them

 

Your problem of accepting this is similar to the problem some people have of the 'mind' which is just the sum total of all the biochemical/neural l processes that occur within the brain...nothing more.

 

I don't see how we can discuss what life is in any other way, other than in a metaphysical sense, which is not science.

 

What observations have you made that determines that there has to be something other than molecules that make life?

 

Think about it, what else exists in the universe besides molecules that life could be a property of....nothing.

 

Yes, life is just a bunch of atoms.

 

And don't say but...but....we'll only end up going in circles.:eyebrow:

 

I will now enter into a state of intransigence and unresponsiveness unless you can come up with good factual evidence to the contrary >:D

 

Where is the scientific evidence that empirically gives the chemical formula that life is made of just atoms? Where is the science?

 

I say life is not made of atoms because there is no science to be found that backs up your assertion that life is 100% atomic. I say that life is not made of atoms due to lack of evidence. You say that life is made of pure atoms, so the burden of proof is on you. Ignoring the question is a cop out. Just prove your case with science and do not take some childish “I will ignore you” approach. Just give your evidence.

 

Prove your case and show the chemical formula of life. Show the observation that life has been recreated in the lab. Stop avoiding the obvious and just prove your case. Where is the science that backs up your claim?

 

You say life is made of atoms. What atoms? How many? In what ratio? COME ON! State your case with science.

 

You say that you are going to be unresponsive unless I come up with evidence to the contray. The evidence is right in front of your face. There is no science that provides evidence that life is made of 100% atoms. I say life is not made of atoms because there is no science to prove this. You say that life is made of atoms.

 

Where is your proof? Go ahead, prove me wrong. Put my credibility into question. As it stands right now you need to prove your case. My viewpoint is proven by lack of evidence. Prove me wrong, be scientific and show the chemical formula for life. Your attitude that ignoring me is childish and unscientific. Man up and just prove your point, don’t runaway and hope that your faith in spontaneous life from atoms is true.

 

Your current actions and attitude do not help your case. Blow me out of the water and provide the science.

 

I have stated before that I will drop this topic if anyone can just do their research and provide evidence that life is made of atoms.

 

Atoms make matter, matter is not life. Just follow the rules of the forum and provide science that backs up your claims.

 

 

I have asked many people on this "science" forum to back up their claims that time is a physical thing, that space is a physical thing and now life is a physical thing. There HAS NOT been one shred of science given to back up these claims. I have not taken some fantastic, unscientific viewpoint here in my claim that space, time and life are not physical things. Science has no reference or definition that states how these things are made of atoms or some type of E/M wave. I am on the side of science and NOT one person has proved me wrong, NOT ONE!

 

If you want to say that I am wrong about this life thing then just provide the science.

 

So far it seems as though when it comes to the basics of all science and physics such as: What is time?

 

What is space? What is life? Those people who engage me in these topics give their OPINIONS and BELIEFS, not science. They have some faith that what they think is true is actual science. Wrong!

 

Keep this simple. Provide science.

 

Here is the observable train of thought used by those who engage me on the basics of science. They do not provide any science to prove their point. If we just look at this topic of life you can see that no one has provided the science that I have asked for. There is the opinion that life is made of atoms but where is the science? WHERE IS THE SCIENCE THAT BACKS UP YOUR STATEMENT? Science. Science. Science. Is that asking too much?

 

Those who engage me on the above topics use faith and belief to try and prove their point. Why not show how I am wrong and provide scientific evidence?

 

TO HAVE FAITH: The obedience to, acceptance of or belief in something as true WITHOUT HAVING COMPLETE EVIDENCE; UNDERSTANDING OF, or trust in something.

 

 

So you say that life is made of 100% atoms. Where is the complete evidence? What is your understanding?

 

Just explain your point of view. Start with maybe the type of atoms involved. Then maybe the amount. Then maybe the combination. Can you provide any of this?

 

Why all this run around on a science forum? Who will take the challenge and prove their case and show that my assertion that life is not made of atoms is wrong?


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Living systems are made out of large collections of atoms. The question is nonsense. Living systems are made out of one or more cells, which are macrostructures which are made out of molecules and in turn atoms.

 

Cars are made out of atoms. Would you ask what part of an atom is a car?.

 

Living systems are made out of atoms, so you say. Cars are made out of atoms and are not alive. Te car is made of non living atoms. Gather a bunch of these atoms and what you have is a non living structure.

 

What is your point? You just said that if you put atoms together you get a non living structure.

 

JUST GIVE THE SCIENTIFIC CHEMICAL FORMULA OF LIFE.

 

 

 

think you're confusing "aware" with "react". Awareness implies consciousness. The reactions of most life systems to their environment (e.g. plants, fungi, bacteria, protists) is little more than a chemical reaction to the outside environment. This makes them no more "aware" of their outside environment than your thermostat clicking on whenever a room gets too cold..

 

WRONG! A thermostat does is not aware of its environment. A thermostat is a man made machine. A thermostat does not decide or perform an activity in order to better its survival. Those structures that have the added ingredient of life will perform actions to help them in survival. A living thing performs actions because it is in someway aware of what is a survival action and where non survival or pain is.

 

Not only that but thermostats do not die.

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Where is the scientific evidence that empirically gives the chemical formula that life is made of just atoms? Where is the science?
we are factually aware of the physical composition of a cellular organismal living body (just to be clearly redundant) in that we have repeatedly observed the elements/chemicals/compounds that make up are various parts. The interactions between all of these atoms and molecules are observed, documented and recorded. These interactions between these various components sufficiently explain life, life itself not being a "force or energy" but rather being a complex group of traits that emerge from these interactions. There is no evidence of any mysterious spirit or "life force," and no necessity to include such a concept in a model that's perfectly functional without such a thing.

 

I say life is not made of atoms because there is no science to be found that backs up your assertion that life is 100% atomic. I say that life is not made of atoms due to lack of evidence.
All of life is observed to be composed of atoms, comprising molecules and so forth, and those molecules are observed forming and driving life in all its forms and functions. The evidence is overwhelmingly obvious to anyone with the reasoning capacity of a seven year old.

 

You say that life is made of pure atoms, so the burden of proof is on you. Ignoring the question is a cop out. Just prove your case with science and do not take some childish “I will ignore you” approach. Just give your evidence.
It's proven. Look up cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, whatever you like, they'll all provide more than adequate proof.

 

Prove your case and show the chemical formula of life. Show the observation that life has been recreated in the lab. Stop avoiding the obvious and just prove your case. Where is the science that backs up your claim?
Life has not been created in the lab, however scientists are making headway in just such attempts; one seems to think they may accomplish it in mere months. Personally i think that's optimistic, but it will happen. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article6804599.ece

 

You say life is made of atoms. What atoms? How many? In what ratio? COME ON! State your case with science.
Look up the chemical or atomic composition of a human being. It will give you clear cut figures of what an average human being consists of. Of course, every individual organism will differ, even among the same species, or in comparison to itself on a minute by minute basis if you want to get down to the EXACT numbers of every atom, which would be a ridiculously stupid thing to expect I'm sure you must agree.

 

You say that you are going to be unresponsive unless I come up with evidence to the contray. The evidence is right in front of your face. There is no science that provides evidence that life is made of 100% atoms. I say life is not made of atoms because there is no science to prove this. You say that life is made of atoms.
All the evidence points to nothing BUT atoms. You're beating a dead horse with a broom made out of complete delusion and denial of the basic elementary-school facts.

 

 

Atoms make matter, matter is not life. Just follow the rules of the forum and provide science that backs up your claims.
As i said, life is simply a set of characteristics that emerge from complex interactions of matter. This is observed and proven. By science. With evidence. Through valid experimentation and direct observation. One more; biochem, molecular genetics, cell biology. Look um up. Hell, wiki um. Also, people have offered you evidence and hypothesis for the emergence of life for non-life. Why are you hypocritically ignroing the very things you request?

 

 

As for the rest of you ranting and raving lunacy, it's more of just repeating yourself in an irrational childish tantrum, and up to now I've already answered everything you raise over and over and over and over. My god, be succinct. How often did you just demand "give me evidence" "there is no evidence" "i want science" blah blah blah? You wont get anywhere behaving like that. The evidence is there for the taking, the proof is total, and any claim you raise that suggests otherwise has to be equally supportable through observation, experimentation, and simple reason. You offer none of these these three things. Do so or shut up.


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WRONG! A thermostat does is not aware of its environment. A thermostat is a man made machine. A thermostat does not decide or perform an activity in order to better its survival. Those structures that have the added ingredient of life will perform actions to help them in survival. A living thing performs actions because it is in someway aware of what is a survival action and where non survival or pain is.
A bacterium isnt aware of what it's doing nor does it decide what to do, it simply reacts to stimuli with genetically hardwired behaviors. A venus flytrap doesnt "decide" to snap shut on a fly, nor is it aware of its location or what it's doing. The higher neural abilities you're suggesting aren't characteristics of LIFE per say, but of sentience and sapience, which life can lead to, but doesn't require.

 

Not only that but thermostats do not die.
thermostats arent composed of the necessary elements in the proper configurations to perform the molecular functions of life. Go to youtube and look up "Evolution IS a Blind Watchmaker," it explains how if you were to give the basic chemical properties of organic materials to inanimate mechanisms, theyd "evolve," teh example in question being clockparts run in a simulation and evolving into functional clocks thanks to the evolutionary pressures applied. And of course they can't die, because they're not alive, but they certainly wear and break down. Edited by AzurePhoenix
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Mind is a metaphysical construct which arises from the brain, which is part of the body. There is no "spirit"..

 

Consciousness is presently only exhibited by living systems, but that does not preclude non-living systems from becoming conscious any more than animals being the only things that could fly precluding the creation of airplanes.

 

Once man has mastered the principles behind consciousness (or more specifically, the physical systems which implement consciousness such as the human brain) man will be able to create non-living (in the traditional sense) conscious entities..

 

We are discussing atoms becoming alive. Just show the science.

 

 

 

 

 

Do airplanes have to be alive in order to fly?..

 

What kind of science is this? You say life is made of atoms. What is the chemical formula of life. Please just give the science. COME ON MAN! Just keep this simple. Where is the science?

 

 

 

There is no different at the sub-atomic level between the living and the non-living. Life systems are made out of the same elementary particles as the rest of the universe.

 

According to that logic everything in this universe is alive. Look, just show the chemical formula of life and stop assuming. If you say life is made of atoms and this is a science forum then where is the science that backs up your claim? This is so simple. Why has no one just provided the science? Have you noticed that no one has provided any scientific evidence that life is made of atoms?

 

 

Living systems exhibit cellular respiration. When cellular respiration ceases, so does life..

 

So what started this cellular respiration? What causes a group of atoms to decide that in order to survive it must have cellular respiration? There is a group of atoms and then through some supernatural phenomenon it becomes necessary for this group of atoms to exhibit and depend on cellular respiration.

 

Yes living systems exhibit cellular respiration. What is the science behind this? What would cause a group of atoms to construct some system of interacting with O2, yet some groups of atoms do not make this step?

 

What is the force of energy that gives the impulse to a group of atoms to make them dependent on cellular respiration? Why would a group of atoms which are not dependent on respiration decide to now be dependent upon respiration? Seems a bit far fetch as far as science is concerned.

 

So according to your logic, a group of non living atoms decide that they need to have respiration in order to live, yet they were not alive before this decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

No, I'm talking about Hofstadter's idea of Strange Loops

 

I'm afraid I've run out of gas responding to your Herculean post. Sorry.

 

This is a science forum. I have asked for the science to provide evidence that life is made of atoms. No one has provided empirical scientific evidence. You and others are making this more complicated then need be. Just show the evidence. Where is your proof?

 

 

I raise some simple questions and you find it Herculean. You find this to be hard and too big to handle because you are having a hard time propping up your belief that life is made of atoms. Yet you could make this so simple by providing scientific evidence. Your lack of evidence strengthens my case.

 

I ask for scientific evidence and none is given. Just look at how this strengthens my case. I say that there is no scientific evidence that says atoms or a group of atoms are alive, no one has provided any evidence, yet they think that by ignoring me or saying that I am being Herculean is some kind of proof that they are right.

 

 

REALLY! Where is the science? Why the lack of science? You say life is made of atoms, where does science say this?

 

You are going to have to realize that you know that there is no science to back up your claims. You might as well just admit it and say that your idea that life is made of atoms is based on faith.

 

FAITH: A belief in something as true without having complete evidence or understanding.

 

Show the evidence or understanding.

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What is the chemical formula of life. Please just give the science. COME ON MAN! Just keep this simple. Where is the science?

 

Life systems are macrostructures made out of many, many different types of molecules. There's no "chemical formula for life". Here's a starting point:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_compound

 

However, just because something is made out of organic compounds doesn't mean it's alive. Living systems must exhibit cellular respiration.

 

There is no different at the sub-atomic level between the living and the non-living. Life systems are made out of the same elementary particles as the rest of the universe.

 

According to that logic everything in this universe is alive.

 

No, you're committing a composition fallacy. Some elementary particles belong to life systems. The overwhelming majority do not. Just because some elementary particles are components of life systems does not make everything in the universe alive, any more than it makes everything in the universe a car because some elementary particles are parts of cars.

 

If you say life is made of atoms and this is a science forum then where is the science that backs up your claim? This is so simple. Why has no one just provided the science?

 

There are many scientific fields based on the idea that living systems are made out of molecules:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochemistry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecular_biology

 

So what started this cellular respiration?

 

We don't know, although there are several theories:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

 

What causes a group of atoms to decide that in order to survive it must have cellular respiration?

 

The atoms don't "decide". They are subject to external conditions. When plants draw minerals and water out of the ground, they are integrated into life systems and themselves become alive. Animals can then consume these plants and their compounds will be further integrated into additional life systems.

 

There is a group of atoms and then through some supernatural phenomenon it becomes necessary for this group of atoms to exhibit and depend on cellular respiration.

 

There's nothing supernatural about it. It's simple chemistry.

 

You are going to have to realize that you know that there is no science to back up your claims. You might as well just admit it and say that your idea that life is made of atoms is based on faith.

 

You might start here:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_%28biology%29

 

Living systems are made of one or more cells. Cells are made out of molecules. Molecules are made out of atoms. Therefore, living systems are made out of atoms. Simple as that.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Eric, you're the one making claims, stop pretending we're the ones needing to prove anything here.

 

I am just saying that there is no science that states atoms or groups of atoms become alive. Science has not given the chemical formula for life.

 

I say that life is not made of atoms. Some on this thread are convinced that life is made of atoms.

 

My claim is backed up by lack of scientific evidence that life is a chemical composition. There is no science that gives validity to the idea that life is made of chemicals.

 

Those that believe that life is some type of atomic structure would just have to provide scientific evidence that backs up that claim.

 

My statement that life is NOT made of atoms is proven by the fact that there is no evidence to the contrary.

 

Those who claim that life is an atomic structure DO have to provide proof that life is an atomic structure or that atoms have the ability to become alive.

 

So, yes you do need to prove your case. Why not just prove your point instead of avoiding the question.

 

I would like to point out that no one has provided any evidence that life is an atomic structure, despite my many requests for this evidence. Is there anyone here who that belives life is made of atoms show any proof of this?

 

It is time to put up some data that proves life is an atomic structure.

 

As it stands right now I have not been shown that I am wrong.

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