What Is Life? Is Death Real?

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life is fundamentally different from
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dead stuff or is it physicist Irvin
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Schrodinger to find life this way living
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things
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avoid decay into disorder and
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equilibrium what does this mean let’s
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pretend that your download folder is the
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universe
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it started orderly and got more and more
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chaotic over time by investing energy
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you can create order and clean it up
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this is what living things do but what
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is life every living thing on this
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planet is made of cells basically a cell
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is a protein-based robot too small to
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feel or experience anything it has the
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properties we just assigned to life it
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has a wall that separates it from the
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surroundings creating order it regulates
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itself and maintains a constant state it
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eats staff to stay alive it grows and
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develops it reacts to the environment
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and it’s subject to evolution and it
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makes more of itself but of all the
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stuff that makes up a cell no part is
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alive stuff reacts chemically with other
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stuff forming reactions that start other
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reactions which start other reactions in
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a single cell every second several
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million chemical reactions take place
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forming a complex Orchestra a cell can
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build several thousand types of protein
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some very simple some complex micro
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machines imagine driving a car at 100
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kilometres an hour while constantly
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rebuilding every single part of it with
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stuff you collect from the street that
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is what cells do but no part of the cell
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is alive everything is dead matter moved
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by the laws of the universe so is life
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the aggregate of all these reaction
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processes that are taking place
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eventually every living thing will die
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the goal of the whole process is to
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prevent this by producing new entities
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and
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this we mean DNA life is in a way just a
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lot of stuff that carries genetic
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information around every living thing is
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subject to evolution and the DNA that
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develops the best living thing around it
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will stay in the game
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so is DNA life then if you take DNA out
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of its hull it certainly is a very
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complex molecule but it can’t do
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anything by itself this is where viruses
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make everything more complicated they
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are basically strings of RNA or DNA in a
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small hull and need cells to do
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something we’re not sure if they count
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as living or dead and still there are
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225 million cubic meters of viruses on
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earth they don’t seem to care what we
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think of them there are even viruses
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that invade dead cells and reanimate
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them so they can be a host for them
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which blurs the line even more or
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mitochondria they are the power plants
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of most complex cells and were
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previously free living bacteria that
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entered a partnership with bigger cells
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they still have their own DNA and can
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multiply on their own but they are not
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alive anymore they are dead so they
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traded their own life for the survival
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of their DNA which means living things
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can evolve into dead things as long as
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it’s beneficial to their genetic code so
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maybe life is information that manages
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to ensure its continued existence but
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what about AI artificial intelligence by
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our most common definitions we are very
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close to creating artificial life in
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computers it’s just a question of time
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before the technology we build gets
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there and this is not science fiction
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either there are a lot of smart people
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actively working on this you could
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already argue that computer viruses are
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alive hmm okay so what is life then
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things processes DNA information this
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got confusing very fast one thing is for
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sure the idea that life is fundamentally
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different from nonliving things because
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they contain some non-physical
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element or are governed by different
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principles than inanimate objects turns
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out to be wrong before Charles Darwin
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humans drew a line between themselves
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and the rest of living things there was
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something magical about us that made us
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special once we had to accept we are
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like every living being a product of
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evolution we drew a different line but
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the more we learn about what computers
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can do and how life works the closer we
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get to creating the first machine that
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fits our description of life the more at
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image of ourselves is in danger again
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and this will happen sooner or later and
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here’s another question for you if
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everything in the universe is made of
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the same stuff does this mean everything
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in the universe is dead or that
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everything in the universe is alive that
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it’s just a question of complexity does
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this mean we can never die because we
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were never alive in the first place is
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life and death and a relevant question
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and we haven’t noticed it yet is it
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possible we are much more part of the
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universe around us than we thought don’t
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look at us we don’t have any answers for
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you just questions for you to think
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about after all it’s thinking about
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questions like this that makes us feel
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alive and gives us some comfort

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