What is Life?


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Pastor blames secret gay Nazi death squads for Vegas mass shooting - https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/10/pastor-blames-secret-gay-nazi-death-squads-vegas-mass-shooting/

Pastor Rick Wiles is a certified Grade-A conspiracy nut and End Times evangelist. He’s never met a kooky theory he can’t latch on to in order justify his worldview. Jesus Campos, a security guard wounded during the Las Vegas Massacre, recently went on the Ellen DeGeneres show to talk about his ordeal and that was about all Rick needed to get rolling.

“I stand by my claim that this country has death squads,” he said on his “TruNews” radio program. “We have death squads in this country and it’s being run by a super secret agency, but there is participation at the state and local level.”

“We’re in a fascist Nazi police state,” Wiles added according to our friends at Right Wing Watch, warning that “there will be a day that they tell law enforcement [officers] to execute your children right in front of you and they will do it.”

“America has become a Nazi state. The deep state is a Nazi state. That is why Campos appeared on a daytime talk show hosted by a fast-talking, dancing comedienne, and, let me add, a lesbian, because this Nazi regime is a gay/lesbian Nazi regime, just like Nazis in Hitler’s day. Hitler was a bisexual, the top Nazi leaders of the Nazi party were homosexuals. The Nazi takeover of Germany was a militant homosexual fascist takeover; that is what is taking place in America today.”

Life - https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/brainwaves/why-life-does-not-really-exist/

One of the most fascinating arguments used to try and debunk the idea that there is no God is the transition from nonliving to living. It seems like an almost magical transition and it's easy to see why people lean on the concept of an intervening deity to make it happen.

For as long as we've been thinking about it we have had a hard time defining what life "is." Even today, scientists have no satisfactory or universally accepted definition of life.

Define "alive."

Have Jessi define what she thinks alive means. Ask questions: does it require sentient, does it have to have thoughts? When does something become alive?

There's something different about things that are alive

Souls make something "alive."

In the 17th century, German chemist George Erns Stahl and other researchers began to describe a doctrine that would eventually become known as vitalism. “living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things”

Its characteristics make it alive

Today, in lieu of a succinct definition of life, Campbell and many other widely used biology textbooks include a rather bloated list of such distinguishing characteristics, for instance such as: order (the fact that many organisms are made from either a single cell with different compartments and organelles or highly structured groups of cells); growth and development (changing size and shape in a predictable manner); homeostasis (maintaining an internal environment that differs from an external one, such as the way cells regulate their pH levels and salt concentrations); metabolism (expending energy to grow and to delay decay); reacting to stimuli (changing behavior in response to light, temperature, chemicals or other aspects of the environment); reproduction (cloning or mating to produce new organisms and transfer genetic information from one generation to the next); and evolution.

The issue is that it is so very easy to find exceptions to these rules. Fire consumes energy, grows, can reproduce into other fires, reacts to stimuli like water or other chemicals etc. Crystals are highly organized and they too can grow and exhibit characteristics of "life." Viruses move around, reproduce and act very much alive, but aren't technically alive.

Viruses are essentially strands of DNA or RNA packaged inside a protein shell; they do not have cells or a metabolism, but they do have genes and they can evolve. Joyce explains, however, that in order to be a “self-sustaining system,” an organism must contain all the information necessary to reproduce and to undergo Darwinian evolution. Because of this constraint, he argues that viruses do not satisfy the working definition. After all, a virus must invade and hijack a cell in order to make copies of itself. "The viral genome only evolves in the context of the host cell."

What about parasites?

On the other hand, many things we see as living can enter long periods of stasis in which they do nothing on the list. They don't eat, grow, reproduce, react to stimuli etc.

Most people would agree that, when attached to a tree, a leaf is alive: its many cells work tirelessly to turn sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into food, among other duties. When a leaf detaches from a tree, its cells do not instantly cease their activities. Does it die on the way to the ground; or when it hits the ground; or when all its individual cells finally expire? If you pluck a leaf from a plant and keep its cells nourished and happy inside a lab, is that life?

Where it comes from makes it alive

When would a robot be "alive?"

What is the difference? What does synthetic mean? Made to to imitate a natural product. What is Natural?

Ultimately just a concept

Taxonomy, a way to categorize things.

All matter that exists is an arrangement of atoms and their constituent particles. These arrangements fall onto an immense spectrum of complexity, from a single hydrogen atom to something as intricate as a brain. In trying to define life, we have drawn a line at an arbitrary level of complexity and declared that everything above that border is alive and everything below it is not. In truth, this division does not exist outside the mind. There is no threshold at which a collection of atoms suddenly becomes alive, no categorical distinction between the living and inanimate. We have failed to define life because there was never anything to define in the first place.

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