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Biology as Natural Science

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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Biology as Natural Science

Postby Atheaut » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:34 am

Biology as Natural Science

Hello everybody,

I am an ex-Philosopher. My primary inquiry as a Philosopher was to discover the "Meaning of Life". I failed to discover the "Meaning of Life". However, I learned one very important lesson… that, to understand any possible "Meaning of Life", requires I define Life instead. But where do I begin? Who are the "accepted" authorities in this arena? And who are the "unaccepted" authorities too??

I must begin with 'Biology' otherwise-known as the Logic of Life.

Thus I can conclude: that, Life becomes defined as 'Biology'. Biologists are the "accepted" authorities who define (to us) the "Meaning of Life". I also want to know of the "unaccepted" authorities too.

So I will start here, and, learn everything there is to know of 'Biology'.


Biology is the first/primary Natural Science.
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Postby Julie5 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:11 am

Hmm, you might want to redefine 'Meaning of Life' as 'Meaning of Conscious Life' - I'm not entirely sure that bacteria have much 'meaning' in their lives other than getting as much food as possible and reproducing as often as possible.

Sadly, that's what a lot of conscious life-forms like doing best too!

Slightly more seriously, life is always a toughie to define exhaustively. One important negative definition is that life does NOT depend on the material out of which the lifeforms are constructed. So C/O/N/H etc are NOT essential for life - they are just the materials that, here on earth at any rate, can, under the right conditions, form structures that demonstrate 'life'.

Life forms need to demonstrate the following activities to be cosidered alive -

feed, excrete, grow and reproduce (these may not be sufficient activities, but they are definitely required ones!) (though, thinking about it, maybe not reproduce - an immortal organism is still presumably alive!)

To be honest, I don't really think that a tight definitoin of 'life' is necessary to understand any concept of 'meaning'. Meaning is partly donated (ie, what our brains are capable of) and partly denoted (ie, what we personally want to think) (and what we personally want to think may, of course, be constrained with what we are capable of thinking!)

If I were you, I'd go and sit in the garden, and contemplate nature all around, enjoying the beauty and the bounty.

Oh yes, and help other people. THat's the best way to give your life meaning.

All the best :)
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Re:

Postby JackBean » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:24 am

Julie5 wrote:Hmm, you might want to redefine 'Meaning of Life' as 'Meaning of Conscious Life' - I'm not entirely sure that bacteria have much 'meaning' in their lives other than getting as much food as possible and reproducing as often as possible.


Actually, that's pretty much the meaning of life. The others are just added on top, because we think we should leave some note, we were here ;)
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Re:

Postby Atheaut » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:48 pm

Julie5 wrote:I don't really think that a tight definitoin of 'life' is necessary to understand any concept of 'meaning'.

I do.

If life had no meaning then it would just be a "word" that conveyed no meaning.

But it does convey meaning relative to particular lifeforms…

That is the problem!


So the next problem is: Who defines Life for the Entire Universe?

Man? Biologist? God? Scientists? Who is this Absolute Authority?
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Postby Julie5 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:56 pm

Hmm, I don't really think you are an ex-philosopher, are you?!! :)

Life can be defined - eg, as self-organising structures that require energy to sustain that structure (which has high negative entropy), and which usually replicate their structures to generate more of them (ie, they eat and they reproduce).

Defining 'meaning' is a lot harder! Possibly impossible. I'd say probabably definitely subjective (ie, what I consider to be 'meaningful', someone else may not, nor even really understand what it is I consider to be meaningful, or what I mean when I say something is meaningful).

Good luck with your search for the Meaning of Life - but you may find that it's entirely subjective and personal, and that your life passes you by while you search for it. Keep a balance (that's a good meaning of life all on its own!)
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