Return to CreateDebate.comjaded • Join this debate community

Joe_Cavalry All Day Every Day

Debate Info

Sounds good to me. Wait..., what? No!!!
Debate Score:8
Total Votes:8
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 Sounds good to me. (2)
 Wait..., what? No!!! (6)

Debate Creator

joecavalry(39922) pic

A definition of life that we can all agree to.


"Self-sustaining chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution."

At first glance, the term self-sustaining doesn't make much sense. Life needs to eat. To grow and develop, living creatures need foremost to be consumers, since growth includes changing biomass, creating new individuals and the shedding of waste. But, in this context, self-sustaining means that life doesn't need continuous intervention by an intelligent being—be it God, a graduate student or a gardener—to provide its sustenance. Given an environment with sufficient resources, it can survive on its own.

Next, we have chemical system. In part, this recognizes that life is the integration of multiple, interdependent metabolic processes. But, the term "system" also distinguishes between "life" and "living," which are not necessarily one and the same. A blood cell in your body is living tissue, but, by itself, it is not life.

And now, the biggie: capable of Darwinian evolution. There's a lot packed into that phrase. When we speak about Darwinian evolution, we refer to the mechanism behind natural selection that allows life to survive and adapt to changing environments. In the broadest sense, Darwinian evolution means that "life" must be capable of making perfect copies of imperfect information during reproduction, and then passing that information to its progeny, across generations. In terrestrial life forms, that information is encoded within DNA.

So there you have it.

Sounds good to me.

Side Score: 2

Wait..., what? No!!!

Side Score: 6
1 point

life doesn't need continuous intervention by an intelligent being

Human life does. Humans need intelligent people (beings) to come up with methods of survival when a crisis arises. May it be food, shelter , protection against wild animals or disease.

Side: Sounds good to me.

The "intelligent being" in the description refers to a God or some higher life form. The human race doesn't depend on a God for its survival.

Also, the definition refers to a system, not the individual. One individual human requires/needs those things. The system of humans, the human race, does not. The human race is self sustaining. It can provide those things to the individual.

I hope that makes it more clear ;)

Side: Sounds good to me.
ProLogos(2794) Disputed
1 point

How do you know that non-human aliens aren't doing anything?

Side: Wait..., what? No!!!
1 point

Well it won't be of much interest to simply agree to this definition, so I'll go the other way and see what comes out.

Life could be self sustaining nano-bots which are in control of their power source and considering their scale could be supplied with an effectively endless supply of raw materials (food). They would be electro-chemical as well as electro-mechanical in constriction and function on a molecular scale. Its is also possible that such nano-bots could function only to reproduce themselves. As in regular electro-chemical life forms, an interruption in the supply of either power or raw materials would result in a failure to continue. In that respect one is as alive as the other. Darwinian evolution is actually the result of in-exact copies of the system being produced. Which is certainly possible with random variables being purposefully introduced in to reproduction system at randomly varied points. Here is where the new system exceeds the old one. The variations are tracked by the system, success or failure is measured as the rate of reproduction increasing while using less and less resources, and used to LIMIT the randomness of the process going forward, causing more successful systems to be produced more often. Darwinian evolution, would be replaced by controlling variables within the system BY the system. Currently life forms rely on natural selection with no awareness of outcome within the process.

It seems upon closer examination that neither system requires intervention in order to continue, however at least one of the systems requires a creator.

Side: Wait..., what? No!!!
DrawFour(2662) Clarified
1 point

Your hypothetical relies heavily on an A.I., something that we have yet to create, making it only slightly less valid, but I ask this since you seen content on A.I. not being alive.

When we get to that point, with A.I. and robots, and a robot can look you in the face and say something from their own collection of chemical influxes that they were not programmed to say but just felt like saying, something that was beautiful and or poetic, maybe tragic and or deeply philosophical, when and if this happens you wouldn't consider that being to have a life of it's own. Even if not a life-form in physical sense, the term alive has a vast amount of meaning, more so than just a beating heart, and the ability to reproduce.

Side: Sounds good to me.