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Has anything ever lived that didn't have...?


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a metabolism? 

 

I've read in many places now that "life" is very difficult to define. A big question in biology, paleontology, or science in general is "what is life?" or "how do we define life?".

 

NASA's definition is "A self-sustaining chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution". But I'm just wondering why life shouldn't be defined as "anything with a metabolism".

 

Has anything ever lived that didn't have a metabolism? Is there anything that is non-living that does have one?

 

Thanks.

Scott

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What is Your definition of a metabolism?

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Wikipedia describes it as  "Metabolism (from Greek: μεταβολή metabolē, "change") is the set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of living organisms." Lets start with that. Very intriguing topic.

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metabolism and self sustaining chemical system are the same thing, but without Darwinian evolution, then the sun would be considered alive by that definition.

 

Brent Ashcraft

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1 hour ago, aerogrower said:

Wikipedia describes it as  "Metabolism (from Greek: μεταβολή metabolē, "change") is the set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of living organisms." Lets start with that. Very intriguing topic.

By this definition the answer to the original question would have to be NO.

 

7 minutes ago, ashcraft said:

metabolism and self sustaining chemical system are the same thing, but without Darwinian evolution, then the sun would be considered alive by that definition.

 

Brent Ashcraft

No it would not because there are no "living cell structures" in the sun.

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As far as the definition from Wikipedia (never to be trusted of course), and in regard to my own original question,  I discovered this article from Cambridge on a hypotheses that metabolism could have arisen in Earth's early oceans even before life itself.

 

http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/metabolism-may-have-started-in-our-early-oceans-before-the-origin-of-life

 

Scott

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3 hours ago, ynot said:

 

 

No it would not because there are no "living cell structures" in the sun.

How do you know that the sun is not a cell?  It is not a cell like life on earth contains, but it certainly meets many of the requirements.

 

Brent "microbiologist for a day" Ashcraft

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9 hours ago, ynot said:

By this definition the answer to the original question would have to be NO.

 

No it would not because there are no "living cell structures" in the sun.

How does being "within living organisms" proclude metabolism from defining life?

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3 minutes ago, Hat said:

How does being "within living organisms" proclude metabolism from defining life?

Your original question was "Has anything ever lived that did not have a metabolism?"

My answer to that question is NO. Since having a metabolism is part of the definition of life, You can not have life without having a metabolism.

It would be like having a tree without any wood.

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25 minutes ago, ynot said:

Your original question was "Has anything ever lived that did not have a metabolism?"

My answer to that question is NO. Since having a metabolism is part of the definition of life, You can not have life without having a metabolism.

It would be like having a tree without any wood.

Right, you cannot have life without a metabolism, but I said "anything with a metabolism", not life should be defined as "a metabolism". If you can't have life without a metabolism, and you can't have a metabolism without life, than why not define life as "anything with a metabolism "?

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