@mkwadee doesn't really make sense imo.. (or i dont get the joke)
@jasper I suppose some people ascribe life to objects like fire and even rocks (perhaps just figuratively) and this is just saying no. I don't think the scale matters. But it is true also in a sense that viruses are "hardly" alive. On the other hand prions are sort of like misshapen proteins and yet the latter are intimately associated with living things.
@mkwadee but what definition are things more alive..
Things have 1)internal data that is passed on and can change 2) reproduce 3) can metabolize new material.
Then prions, don't have (1, 3) so are entirely not life. Though the misfolding might work on some variety, it doesnt pass it on.
Virusses cannot do (3).. or actually, pretty sure a few contain genes that modify metabolism a bit. However, they're very specific about an other organism existing in their environment.
@mkwadee but.. if you discount virusses for being specific about their environment.. Aren't animals way more specific about their environment. Pretty sure they're way more dependent on vitamins, and some amino acids they cannot produce. And they definitely need energy in terms of compounds. (and O2)
Plants also pretty dependent, like on bound nitrogen and biologically accessible elements i guess.. Still think, probably less dependent overally, so they're more alive.
@mkwadee lol i am being stupid just trying to say this interpretation of "alive-in-a-context" exists. Though i don't think you can really assign a numerical value based on that. But likely plants rank higher. (though dunno if some plants depend on some nitrogen compounds that's similar to "vitamins")
@jasper These are some of our concepts about what being alive means. It's based on the biology we know of -- on Earth. We won't really be able to define what is alive until we have a wider perspective of alien life too. Perhaps there are ways of being alive that we cannot even begin to comprehend or that, given a galactic perspective, we ourselves do not count as being alive at all!
@mkwadee Not everyone think virus's alive
General purpose mastodon instance