Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

Kaitlin Cough's picture

What is life??

What is life?
I think to be "alive" in the sense of the word as we know it, (i.e. things that we say are alive on earth), an entity must satisfy several important qualities. It must:
-take in energy
-grow and develop
-respond, adapt, and evolve over time in response to its environment
-be able to die (then again, we can only define death once we have defined life)
-have the capacity to reproduce and/or aid in reproduction of its species at some point in its life (I'm trying to cover the "males can't actually reproduce so they're not alive/women over 60/etc. questions here)

I also like the idea that living things are ordered-if you grind something up it won't look the same, however, I think that's a bit broad. Because, again, you could say that's true for many things...rocks, water bottles, etc. Also something that has cells...although I agree we can't observe that from the window of our spaceship, so we'd have to make observations for that in a lab. Those are the few criteria that I think of when I think of a living thing though.

I'd like to talk more about the abortion question though, because I'm unsure at what stage a fetus can do those things, or what things it can do at certain stages. That would help me form an opinion for the "is abortion murder?" question.

Reply

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
1 + 8 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.