jayakumar jakku at mrna.tn.nic.in
Sun Jan 3 12:49:49 EST 1999

Nice explanation of life, with that philosophical twist.  I would try to
define the purpose of life in the words of James lovelock the propounder of
the now famous Gaia hypothesis.  Isn't all forms of life parts of a larger
macrocosm, or shall we say a larger megaorganism?  All life units (the
living things on this planet) may be but functional and constitutive part of
this larger megaorganism.  After all aren't we affected by everything around
us and isn't everything affected by everything else?  So can't we call it a
close knit community of living organisms, interacting actively with one
another -whether they may be animate or inanimate?  Instead of considering
the individual purposes of each of these life units, I think we should
explain life in the light of this larger macroorganism.  James Lovelock
calls this "gaia" (in sanskrit, this simply means mother earth).
    It will beinteresting if I could get some more viewpoints on this "Gaia

R. Jayakumar, CSIR-SRF,
School of Biotechnology,
Madurai Kamaraj University,
Madurai - 625021.
tel: +91-452-858464(hostel), 858471(ask for 374 to lab)
fax: +91-452-859105
email: jakku at mrna.tn.nic.in
VISIT MY WEBSITE AT http://members.tripod.com/~jakspage
-----Original Message-----
From: L.R.L. <lrl at altavista.net>
To: bionet.microbiology mail newsgroup <bionet-news at dl.ac.uk>
Date: Sunday, January 03, 1999 4:08 AM
Subject: Re: life

>>How do you define life ?
>Obviously, life is birth and death separated by activities concerned with
>converting matter into cellular fuel and or procreating.
>Beyond these basics however, lies a powerful question.
>If life were simply those items above then one or more of them must be the
>very purpose of life.  I don't believe life or existence exists simply
>because it is.  That's as empty as saying "I think therefore I am".  Nice
>words but void of meaning.
>I personally prefer to believe that there's a greater purpose than the
>basics.  Religions and Philosophies have attempted to determine the purpose
>of life long before Mendel made his mark and, I believe, without
>success.  Accordingly, I'm still trying to figure out what the meaning of
>'is' is -- from an existence point of view.
>You can start with the big bang or before and work your way through organic
>atomic attractions and such but you're still left with the question of why
>existence (whatever that means) is better than non-existence or why the
>existence of anything is necessary (or real) in the first place.  'Life'
>its definitions are simply a part of this bigger question.  If you don't
>have an answer to the bigger question, how can you solve the 'life'
>or any other question pertaining to a subset of all existance.
>Hopefully, somebody smarter than I can shed some light on the primary
>purpose of all life -- animal, vegetable and, yes, mineral.  Then, perhaps
>we can better understand the answer to this particular question.

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