Reflection (a3)

Link: http://www.txchnologist.com/2012/can-a-scientist-define-life-by-carl-zimmer

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New info:

  • There is more that meets the eye when finding life on other planets. There’s no definition of life that’s universally agreed upon, so scientists can only look for conditions that support life on Earth (e.g. water, organic carbon). Yet there may be life that exists without these conditions.
  • There is an insane number of definitions (over 300) for life. But every definition has met with opposition, with some saying key features of life are missing.

What’s Interesting:

  • There are so many possibilities for life! They might be able to exist without water and carbon, crucial factors needed to support life on Earth
  • Jack Szostak’s stand: “Attempts to define life are irrelevant to scientific efforts to understand the origin of life.” Should scientists continue trying to define life then?
  • How will scientists find life on other planets, if there is no universal definition of life? If we don’t know what we’re looking for, how can we find “life”?

Definition of life: see reflection a5

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