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Definitions

What defines life?

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July 29, 2017 9:01AM

The definition of life is currently under a great deal of scrutiny. At the moment biologists don't have a singular definition that doesn't cause problems. For example "All life reproduces" does not work, technically fire reproduces and many things that are otherwise "alive" cannot reproduce, mules for example, or honeybees or viruses. One definition that seems to work is a life form "Uses internal, energy driven, processes to prevent entropic equilibrium". This definitions uses the second law of thermodynamics, "All matter and energy moves toward equilibrium". Because of entropy everything will eventually become equally spread out, not interacting with anything else and of equal warmth. Life forms prevent the effects of energy to sustain themselves. While your body is alive it fights the bacteria trying to eat it and rebuilds many kinds of damage it sustains. When you die you no longer fight against entropy and your body is taken apart by bacteria. This is not the most widely accepted definition because there currently is not one.