Jay Mone' writes:
<If you know that viruses are not alive, you're one step ahead of me. I
haven't come across a good definition of life yet, have you?>
1. In my virology class last fall, my professor did point out the
existence of a controversy in the scientific community concerning whether
viruses were considered living things or not, and that different
scientists believed differently on the subject, on the following grounds:
a. Some believe they're alive because they contain genetic material and
b. Some believe they're not alive because they are not *cells* (the cell
being the smallest unit of life), and because they cannot reproduce
without the "help" of their host cells.
2. If I may pick a philosophical bone with you: If, as you suggest, there
is no good definition of life, then what is the science of biology? I
know you're a microbiologist (supposedly the study of microscopic life),
but what exactly is it YOU think you're studying? And, if you consider
*yourself* to be alive, how do you know it without a definition? ;-)
FWIW, I believe that viruses are living obligate parasites.
FWIW, I believe that anything which contains DNA or RNA and reproduces
true-to-form is alive.
"Mycelium is Yourcelium"