The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: fire lives  (Read 6130 times)

Offline wolfbane360

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
fire lives
« on: 30/05/2006 11:07:44 »
after being really bored I started thinking about life and then fire, I then looked at the living processors, reproduce, feed, respire, grow, excrete, move and sensitive to environmental changes, and I found that fire dose all of these and so fire is a living being.   You have to give it some thought but fire dose do all of there things so if alive.


 

Offline wolfbane360

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: fire lives
« Reply #1 on: 30/05/2006 11:13:18 »
o sorry i dident put a question in there but i just would like some people to take a look and see if im right
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: fire lives
« Reply #2 on: 30/05/2006 12:03:46 »
In the past, I believe that fire would have been considered a living thing, as was quick silver (the word 'quick' meant living), which is the old name for mercury.

Where I would disagree with your assessment of fire (and in any modern sense, any definition of liquid mercury as being alive) is in the definition of reproduction.  More precisely, fire does clone itself, but it does not reproduce in any evolutionary sense of the word.



George
 

Offline wolfbane360

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: fire lives
« Reply #3 on: 30/05/2006 12:45:13 »
fire dose reproduce in embers that are cast from the fire and start new a fire, much like a seed from a plant
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: fire lives
« Reply #4 on: 30/05/2006 13:04:26 »
quote:
Originally posted by wolfbane360
fire dose reproduce in embers that are cast from the fire and start new a fire, much like a seed from a plant



I think you have missed my point.

Yes, fire can remain dormant, but when it reignites it is merely a clone of the original fire.  The new fire has not evolved in any way.  The new fire is no different in nature from its 'parent' fire.  The new fire is no different from a plant grown from a cutting, but is very different from a plant grown from seed which has been subject to genetic variation and evolution.  In this way, a plant may evolve into many different types of plant, each adapting to a different niche, but each plant has evolved to optimised its own niche.  Each fire, when it ignites, is indistinguishable from any other, insofar as any other fire in the same environment would behave the same way, and is only subject to the influence of its environment, and not the influence of its inheritence.



George
 

Offline wolfbane360

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: fire lives
« Reply #5 on: 30/05/2006 15:41:50 »
so a fire would be more like a cell dividing, in a way.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: fire lives
« Reply #6 on: 30/05/2006 16:45:41 »
quote:
Originally posted by wolfbane360

so a fire would be more like a cell dividing, in a way.



Substantially, yes (although even cells that divide can mutate, and inherit that mutation, but cells in higher organisms don't mutate very much).



George
 

Offline nndaia

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: fire lives
« Reply #7 on: 01/06/2006 11:12:08 »
I was under the impression that something had to be composed of cells and their products to be considered alive. Fire doesn't have this.


I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate.
And I can picture us attacking this world, because they'd never expect it.
 

Offline realmswalker

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 205
    • View Profile
Re: fire lives
« Reply #8 on: 08/06/2006 23:18:30 »
well, i think it does evolve, sort of, considering each generation it is burning something different.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: fire lives
« Reply #9 on: 09/06/2006 01:17:25 »
quote:
Originally posted by realmswalker

well, i think it does evolve, sort of, considering each generation it is burning something different.



That is not evolution.  Evolution implies inheritance and selection in other words, if fire A is a child of fire B, then it should be discernibly different than if fire A is a child of fire C.

Can you honestly tell me that if you light a cigarette from a match, you can tell in the way that the cigarette burns which match (or even whether it was a match or a some other means of lighting a cigarette) that lit the cigarette?  The fire that burns in the cigarette is clearly a child of the fire that lit it, yet can you honestly say that it carries some unique inheritable trait from its parent that would be different for different parents?



George
 

Offline adamg

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Re: fire lives
« Reply #10 on: 22/06/2006 07:17:54 »
Fire is a chemical reaction that is a type of oxidation. It is inorganic and does not pocess, nor can ever pocess any forms of genetic information. Even Viruses, (which are technically not alive, although some do debate this) have DNA or RNA, as do all forms of microbes and life forms. This allows them to reproduce in the true sense of the word.

Bacteria, which technically clone themselves by dividing, are different from how fire "clones" itself in that bacteria experience DNA mutation and thus change over time.

Fire, has, since the begginings of the universe has been the same and will continue to be the same. Organisms change over time, it is constant principle of life.





Adam Andrew Galas
 

Offline ocalhoun

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • http://www.equinedream.org
Re: fire lives
« Reply #11 on: 28/06/2006 18:35:12 »
What's all this about genetic material being needfull for life?
Ya'll are being a little closed minded here.
No fire does not evolve; it is an extremely simple organisim, and I challenge you to imagine a better version of fire.
This is the kind of thing you'd want to be on the lookout for if you were searching for extraterrestrial life; something completely different than what we consider alive.
The only real difference I see is that you can create fire without a parent fire and without much difficulty. However, could you do the same with ordinary life given good enough technology?

newbielink:http://www.frih.onet.frih.net/sigstore/sigs.html [nonactive]
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: fire lives
« Reply #12 on: 28/06/2006 21:32:11 »
quote:
Originally posted by ocalhoun
What's all this about genetic material being needfull for life?
Ya'll are being a little closed minded here.



In one sense, one has to be a little closed minded.  The alternative is to say that life can be anything at all, which then removes from life any meaning.  For a word or idea to have meaning it must also have prescribed boundaries, some way of defining what it means that distinguishes from what it does not mean.

The definition of 'life' has changed over time, and used to  (in the days when 'life' and 'quick' synonymous) refer to absolutely anything that could respond to the environment or that could 'feed' (including quicksilver liquid mercury; or quicklime; or quicksand).  In such a world, fire too would have been regarded as living, since it could consume things as well as quicksand or quicklime.  In these days, such a definition I believe would be regarded as obsolete.

The question then is what is a contemporary definition of life, and I would regard that such a definition would revolve around the notion of evolution, and thus must include inheritability as a trait.  If one presumes inheritability as a perquisite for live (it certainly is a prerequisite for evolution), then it follows that the inherited traits should be stored in some form, and this form would be a gene (the idea of a gene predates any notion of DNA, and there is no inherent reason why DNA, or its cousin RNA, should be the only possible genetic materials; it is only a requirement that all living organisms should have some genetic material, whatever it may be).

quote:

No fire does not evolve; it is an extremely simple organisim, and I challenge you to imagine a better version of fire.



The term 'better' is anthropomorphic life is not about 'better' or 'worse' in any overall sense.  Evolution requires that an organism, in order to survive, must best fit its particular niche, but that does not make it in any overall sense a better organism.

If one regards 'fire' as merely an oxygenation process, then one might even say that living organisms are themselves oxygenators are they better or worse than fire?  In the case of mankind, it is complicated by the fact that man is an animal that directly utilises fire.

As a source of energy, nuclear reactors (natural or artificial) are certainly more powerful than any combustion process but does 'more powerful' = 'better'?

quote:

This is the kind of thing you'd want to be on the lookout for if you were searching for extraterrestrial life; something completely different than what we consider alive.



It is true that you need to be on the look out for something very unusual that is also alive, but it is also important that you have a clear definition of 'life', so that you can clearly say whether that which you see falls within, or without, you definition of 'life'.

quote:

The only real difference I see is that you can create fire without a parent fire and without much difficulty. However, could you do the same with ordinary life given good enough technology?



No, it is not the only difference.  The point is that living organisms have a clear and identifiable parent/child relationship, which fire does not.

As you say, fire is a very simple thing, and in fact many of the machines we already produce are far more complex than a simple fir (some even contain fire within them).  Does this make the machines themselves a living organism?  I don't believe we are there yet, but I think we will soon be at the position where machines are capable not only of reproducing themselves, but of evolving their own design during that reproduction process and it is at that point that I think we might say that the machines have become living organisms.



George
 

Offline ocalhoun

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • http://www.equinedream.org
Re: fire lives
« Reply #13 on: 28/06/2006 18:35:12 »
What's all this about genetic material being needfull for life?
Ya'll are being a little closed minded here.
No fire does not evolve; it is an extremely simple organisim, and I challenge you to imagine a better version of fire.
This is the kind of thing you'd want to be on the lookout for if you were searching for extraterrestrial life; something completely different than what we consider alive.
The only real difference I see is that you can create fire without a parent fire and without much difficulty. However, could you do the same with ordinary life given good enough technology?

newbielink:http://www.frih.onet.frih.net/sigstore/sigs.html [nonactive]
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: fire lives
« Reply #14 on: 28/06/2006 21:32:11 »
quote:
Originally posted by ocalhoun
What's all this about genetic material being needfull for life?
Ya'll are being a little closed minded here.



In one sense, one has to be a little closed minded.  The alternative is to say that life can be anything at all, which then removes from life any meaning.  For a word or idea to have meaning it must also have prescribed boundaries, some way of defining what it means that distinguishes from what it does not mean.

The definition of 'life' has changed over time, and used to  (in the days when 'life' and 'quick' synonymous) refer to absolutely anything that could respond to the environment or that could 'feed' (including quicksilver liquid mercury; or quicklime; or quicksand).  In such a world, fire too would have been regarded as living, since it could consume things as well as quicksand or quicklime.  In these days, such a definition I believe would be regarded as obsolete.

The question then is what is a contemporary definition of life, and I would regard that such a definition would revolve around the notion of evolution, and thus must include inheritability as a trait.  If one presumes inheritability as a perquisite for live (it certainly is a prerequisite for evolution), then it follows that the inherited traits should be stored in some form, and this form would be a gene (the idea of a gene predates any notion of DNA, and there is no inherent reason why DNA, or its cousin RNA, should be the only possible genetic materials; it is only a requirement that all living organisms should have some genetic material, whatever it may be).

quote:

No fire does not evolve; it is an extremely simple organisim, and I challenge you to imagine a better version of fire.



The term 'better' is anthropomorphic life is not about 'better' or 'worse' in any overall sense.  Evolution requires that an organism, in order to survive, must best fit its particular niche, but that does not make it in any overall sense a better organism.

If one regards 'fire' as merely an oxygenation process, then one might even say that living organisms are themselves oxygenators are they better or worse than fire?  In the case of mankind, it is complicated by the fact that man is an animal that directly utilises fire.

As a source of energy, nuclear reactors (natural or artificial) are certainly more powerful than any combustion process but does 'more powerful' = 'better'?

quote:

This is the kind of thing you'd want to be on the lookout for if you were searching for extraterrestrial life; something completely different than what we consider alive.



It is true that you need to be on the look out for something very unusual that is also alive, but it is also important that you have a clear definition of 'life', so that you can clearly say whether that which you see falls within, or without, you definition of 'life'.

quote:

The only real difference I see is that you can create fire without a parent fire and without much difficulty. However, could you do the same with ordinary life given good enough technology?



No, it is not the only difference.  The point is that living organisms have a clear and identifiable parent/child relationship, which fire does not.

As you say, fire is a very simple thing, and in fact many of the machines we already produce are far more complex than a simple fir (some even contain fire within them).  Does this make the machines themselves a living organism?  I don't believe we are there yet, but I think we will soon be at the position where machines are capable not only of reproducing themselves, but of evolving their own design during that reproduction process and it is at that point that I think we might say that the machines have become living organisms.



George
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: fire lives
« Reply #14 on: 28/06/2006 21:32:11 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums