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SamBridge

Are stars alive?

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Something I was thinking about since I read "A wrinkle in time", when one of the main characters said she had to give up the form she loved most, which was a "star", but how could she love being that form unless she was conscious while in that form? Which got be thinking, analyzing a star I'm wondering if it's in any way possible they could be alive. They have seeming cycles of birth, life and death, they grow, shed off outer layers, change their form, they have an abundance of natural materials and have plenty of energy which they make themselves like plants in a self sustaining process, they respond to stimuli in a way such as that they have complex magnetic fields and plasma which changes its shape upon contact with different materials (though usually at small levels), it has organization through distinguishable layers and convection of plasma, as well as specific magnetic field lines, it seems to fit all the criteria for being a living thing.

Edited by SamBridge

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How do they reproduce?

 

 

 

They disperse materials by shedding their outer layers near the end of their life cycle, different types of stars do it in different ways, that gas then can collapse to become other stars. Again, the argument isn't if they are conscious but just that it's possible they are alive because they fit under the standards they we define to be "life".

 

On a tangent (line) I'm also not sure why I got a minus sign, I didn't even notice those until now. So someone doesn't like my post because they don't like looking at possibilities they hadn't considered before? That seems very rude and counterproductive to science to add personal opinions in like that to what I had hoped to be a logical debate. I wasn't comfortable with that possibility either, but that's just a feeling, I highly doubt whoever marked it down had any scientific basis for or against the hypothesis. Besides, I never stated that I supported that stars are alive. Whether people like it or not, given the sets of data, unless someone wants to be logical and provide evidence against it, with this current knowledge it's possible stars are alive under current scientific definitions of life. Again, unless someone wants to actually be logical and provide logical evidence against it which I'm all for.

Edited by SamBridge

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They disperse materials by shedding their outer layers near the end of their life cycle, different types of stars do it in different ways, that gas then can collapse to become other stars. Again, the argument isn't if they are conscious but just that it's possible they are alive because they fit under the standards they we define to be "life".

 

On a tangent (line) I'm also not sure why I got a minus sign, I didn't even notice those until now. So someone doesn't like my post because they don't like looking at possibilities they hadn't considered before? That seems very rude and counterproductive to science to add personal opinions in like that to what I had hoped to be a logical debate. I wasn't comfortable with that possibility either, but that's just a feeling, I highly doubt whoever marked it down had any scientific basis for or against the hypothesis. Besides, I never stated that I supported that stars are alive. Whether people like it or not, given the sets of data, unless someone wants to be logical and provide evidence against it, with this current knowledge it's possible stars are alive under current scientific definitions of life. Again, unless someone wants to actually be logical and provide logical evidence against it which I'm all for.

 

 

I don't know why you got neg rep for just asking the question but stars do not qualify as life because they do not reproduce with variation. in fact I doubt you could make a good case they reproduce at all. While they do shed outer layers the end result is not necessarily a new star in fact since they use up hydrogen and will eventually result in all the hydrogen in the universe being used up.

 

If a star can be defined as life a fire would also qualify. A fire grows, reproduces via sparks, but it is not alive...

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But don't stars reproduce with variation? No two supernova are the same, no two stars have exactly the same composition or size of layers or even just general size. Fire is always a specific reaction with always the same fixed ratio of materials being used up to give off energy. Or what exactly do you mean by "variation"? Because there's no garuntee that offspring will be the result when two things mate, stars could be classified as asexually reproductive. I guess fire does reproduce, and grow, could you establish that it responds to stimuli? Could you establish that it self organizes? There's some trait of fire that makes it so that we know it isn't a living thing by our current definition. Can you show that that trait also exists in stars? Unless then maybe we don't know for sure fire isn't alive. Is it perhaps that if it requires an outside process to achieve any of the functions then it isn't a trait that makes it a living thing? But don't many living things require outside nutrients to self sustain?

I'm trying to look up the formal definition of "life" but there's a lot of variation. What I remember is essentially that: its self organizing and self sustaining, it reproduces, it grows over time, and I thought I remembered "responding to stimuli" but I don't remember what the response was when I asked about plants.

Edited by SamBridge

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But don't stars reproduce with variation? No two supernova are the same, no two stars have exactly the same composition or size of layers or even just general size. Fire is always a specific reaction with always the same fixed ratio of materials being used up to give off energy. Or what exactly do you mean by "variation"? Because there's no garuntee that offspring will be the result when two things mate, stars could be classified as asexual. I guess fire does reproduce, and grow, could you establish that it responds to stimuli? Could you establish that it self organizes? There's some trait of fire that makes it so that we know it isn't a living thing by our current definition. Can you show that that trait also exists in stars? Unless then maybe we don't know for sure fire isn't alive. Is it perhaps that if it requires an outside process to achieve any of the functions then it isn't a trait that makes it a living thing? But don't many living things require outside nutrients to self sustain?
I'm trying to look up the formal definition of "life" but there's a lot of variation. What I remember is essentially that: its self organizing and self sustaining, it reproduces, it grows over time, and I thought I remembered "responding to stimuli" but I don't remember what the response was when I asked about plants.

 

 

 

Plants respond to stimuli, some directly some indirectly.

 

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

 

 

 

Any contiguous living system is called an organism. Organisms undergo metabolism, maintain homeostasis, possess a capacity to grow, respond to stimuli, reproduce and, through natural selection, adapt to their environment in successive generations. More complex living organisms can communicate through various means.[1][5] A diverse array of living organisms can be found in the biosphere of Earth, and the properties common to these organisms—plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria—are a carbon- andwater-based cellular form with complex organization and heritable genetic information.

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I understand evolution, but I don't understand why it's in the definition of life, I don't see why it isn't just a process that is the result of life on this specific planet. But otherwise I guess the thing that seems to stick out the most is that stars I don't think can communicate. But do bacteria communicate? I guess it would sort of make sense to distinguish between biotic and abiotic things with evolution, I don't know if stars evolve or not. I would think not, and even though I don't know for sure, it doesn't seem likely now that stars are alive with that exact of a definition.

Edited by SamBridge

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Yes bacteria communicate with each other chemically. I tend to question the idea that life must reproduce with variation. I can see the possibility of a planet that it's entire biomass is one organism... Opps already been thought of Gaea.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis

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What defines life? Does consciousness define life?

 

Stars may not be conscious, however they do exist. They are present. They evolve matter and energy into elements that allow organisms to evolve to the point of being conscious.

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What defines life? Does consciousness define life?

 

Stars may not be conscious, however they do exist. They are present. They evolve matter and energy into elements that allow organisms to evolve to the point of being conscious.

They don't "evolve" it, they merely transform it. Evolving would involve a process that would make stars survive better over time as the species developed if it could be called one. There's also a definition of life that moon gave. Consciousness doesn't necessarily define life, but there is no scientifically recorded observation of consciousness existing outside of a living organism.

Edited by SamBridge

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Yes bacteria communicate with each other chemically. I tend to question the idea that life must reproduce with variation. I can see the possibility of a planet that it's entire biomass is one organism... Opps already been thought of Gaea.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis

 

Yeah, you are only about 40 years too late. smile.png

 

Any organism that has only mitotic division at its disposal is not evolved to reproduce with variation. I think only random mutation can bring this about in them. Progeny variation, as an intrinsic feature of a species' evolution, needs meiosis available to them I think.

Edited by StringJunky

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They don't evolve it, they merely transform it.

 

Okay so its not evolution. I'm kinda of crazy, I think evolution is just transformation "evolved" and life is just highley evolved or "transformed" energy.

 

Ever heard of lee smolins hypoethsis about natural selection through black holes creating universes? Its kinda cool.

Edited by too-open-minded

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hmmm starsare "bi-sexual" beings



MAybe they are pure energy beings?

 

MAybe There complex Nuclear Reactions may be interpreted as neurons of the human brain. They Communicate via radiation (light) and move via Gravity or electromagnetism. They self-reproduce like plants and certain animals and they "see" things with radiation. They evolve when they explode.

Certain species of stars may evolve into certain species of stars. The "breathe" and they "exhale" using solar wind thought it takes millionsof years just to suck in and exhale...

 

Breathe= get hydrogen and start the reaction (just like babies) Exhale= LOOOOOOOONG TIME Give off Solar wind Cough/sneeze= Solar Flare

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They don't evolve it, they merely transform it.

 

Okay so its not evolution. I'm kinda of crazy, I think evolution is just transformation "evolved" and life is just highley evolved or "transformed" energy.

 

Ever heard of lee smolins hypoethsis about natural selection through black holes creating universes? Its kinda cool.

I don't think a being could evolve into pure energy because DNA itself is not pure energy, and if it somehow created something that was pure energy, then it would die instantly because it would be made out of photons and instantly fall apart at the speed of light. Evolution is the process where genes show up in organisms which are better suited for whatever environment those animals are in, it doesn't seem to apply to stars.

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I can't argue that Sam, however I think your misunderstanding me. I'm not saying a being could evolve into pure energy or that stars evolve. I'm saying that evolution is just "transformation" or converting energy into elements through fission like stars do, but in itself transformed. Stars make the elements besides hydrogen and helium I beleive, some 2 types of elements. Thats besides the point, anyways stars make energy into more complex material like elements. These elements eventually make more complex material like organisms. These organisms start to evolve into more complex organisms. Do you see what i'm trying to say now? Evolution is just a more complex conversion in the universe.

 

It makes sense to me atleast XD.

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I can't argue that Sam, however I think your misunderstanding me. I'm not saying a being could evolve into pure energy or that stars evolve. I'm saying that evolution is just "transformation" or converting energy into elements through fission like stars do, but in itself transformed. Stars make the elements besides hydrogen and helium I beleive, some 2 types of elements. Thats besides the point, anyways stars make energy into more complex material like elements. These elements eventually make more complex material like organisms. These organisms start to evolve into more complex organisms. Do you see what i'm trying to say now? Evolution is just a more complex conversion in the universe.

 

It makes sense to me atleast XD.

Yeah what you're describing isn't evolution, it's just part of the fusion process.

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yeah.... I didn't say that.

So what did you mean then? if you are trying to argue that stars are alive I think it's already been settled.

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If you want an answer based on the principles that we have conceived to define life while neglecting our native concept of life, then yes, you can *mostly* consider them alive. It also depends on how specific your definition of life is. Some people tailor a definition of terms given the importance of their meaning within limited contexts. In conclusion, "Are stars alive?" is just a boring rhetorical question. Elaborating on semantics, there are never any exact synonymns between two words because -- though they may be defined in the same way -- words can have a varying consistuency of multiple definitions that apply in different situations. "Life" ... really? That's so useless.

 

Even the word "life" evaluated in just the way as you are most familiar to think of it (i.e. plants, animals, carbon-based lifeforms with DNA etc.) can have any number of simultaneously valid definitions. Words are tools. Frontier pushers often make themselves custom glossaries and give words their own spin to keep things concise and locally-effective. Even though the scientific consensus is that viruses are not considered alive, they are certainly more relevant to "life sciences" than stars... No matter how much you can translate the definition of life to unfamiliar objects, no one will be impressed. It's like trying to invent a new domain of "life science" when you should just go into cosmology / astrophysics !!!

 

Yes, stars are alive if you prefer that term over anything that might be more appropriate to describe such characteristics. If you're creating an evaluation of star's "life," then you may talk about them in the sense of being alive or not being alive (before the nuclear-fusion process ignites or after they burn out)... Bleh. This is boring.

Edited by Ben Banana

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If you want an answer based on the principles that we have conceived to define life while neglecting our native concept of life, then yes, you can *mostly* consider them alive. It also depends on how specific your definition of life is. Some people tailor a definition of terms given the importance of their meaning within limited contexts. In conclusion, "Are stars alive?" is just a boring rhetorical question. Elaborating on semantics, there are never any exact synonymns between two words because -- though they may be defined in the same way -- words can have a varying consistuency of multiple definitions that apply in different situations. "Life" ... really? That's so useless.

 

Even the word "life" evaluated in just the way as you are most familiar to think of it (i.e. plants, animals, carbon-based lifeforms with DNA etc.) can have any number of simultaneously valid definitions. Words are tools. Frontier pushers often make themselves custom glossaries and give words their own spin to keep things concise and locally-effective. Even though the scientific consensus is that viruses are not considered alive, they are certainly more relevant to "life sciences" than stars... No matter how much you can translate the definition of life to unfamiliar objects, no one will be impressed. It's like trying to invent a new domain of "life science" when you should just go into cosmology / astrophysics !!!

 

Yes, stars are alive if you prefer that term over anything that might be more appropriate to describe such characteristics. If you're creating an evaluation of star's "life," then you may talk about them in the sense of being alive or not being alive (before the nuclear-fusion process ignites or after they burn out)... Bleh. This is boring.

No I don't think they are alive, according to our standards that describe something as living. There is a very finite boundary.

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We have no way to test the standards of life beyond our own reach, but it still remains that according to the definition we have now, stars aren't alive.

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according to our standards

 

Who constitutes 'our?' Biologists?

Edited by Ben Banana

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