Definition of LifeWe review several definitions of life and propose a working definition that reflects evolution of information in the universe, from the the pre-biotic world of dynamic, though passive physical and chemical information structures, to the active information processing systems of biology in the living world, to the pure abstract information (neither matter nor energy) in the ideal world of thought and mind.
Some Definitions of LifeThe assemblage of the functional activities by which the presence of [life] is manifested... Life is a characteristic distinguishing physical entities having biological processes (such as signaling and self-sustaining processes) from those that do not. Organisms are composed of one or more cells, undergo metabolism, maintain homeostasis, can grow, respond to stimuli, reproduce (either sexually or asexually) and, through evolution, adapt to their environment in successive generations.Wikipedia a state of living characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction. Merriam Webster The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment through changes originating from within the organism. Dictionary.com Questions: Viruses, Spores, etc.?
Essential Elements, Characteristics, Structures and FunctionsMetabolism (negative entropy flow of energy and matter) Reproduction (self-replication, self-assembly, self-maintenance - homeostasis, ) Adaptation
Proposed Working Definition of Life as Evolving Information