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Author Topic: Viruses...alive or not?  (Read 6344 times)

Offline Ben6789

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Viruses...alive or not?
« on: 10/04/2007 16:44:07 »
My science teacher tells me that viruses aren't alive or dead, how can this be true?

You can't be in between, you have to be or the other.

How can something exist if it's not in the two most basic topics in which to divide things in our world...alive and dead?  ??? ???


 

another_someone

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Viruses...alive or not?
« Reply #1 on: 10/04/2007 21:52:42 »
 

another_someone

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Viruses...alive or not?
« Reply #2 on: 10/04/2007 22:00:17 »
If you think that there is a clear separation between that which is living, and that which is not, try to define what life is.

Until you can define what something is, totally unambiguously, you cannot decide whether something is without or without that group.
 

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Offline dedaNoe

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Viruses...alive or not?
« Reply #3 on: 10/04/2007 23:23:47 »
Shrunk
viruses are our own revolutionary cells. living things are those things that are out of GLOBAL HOLLY IMMOVABLE BALANCE. alive things are sick and helthy things are dead. imbalance is simply the reason for existance cause every weight possesing it tends to dynamize. to be alive is to be kickin.
 

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Offline Bored chemist

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Viruses...alive or not?
« Reply #4 on: 11/04/2007 12:23:49 »
Shrunk
DeDanoe, you seem to be using some rather unorthodox definitions of "cells", "alive", "sick", "healthy", "weight" and others. Could you clarify these?
 

Offline Ben6789

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Viruses...alive or not?
« Reply #5 on: 11/04/2007 16:43:59 »
Similar topics are:

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=5620.0
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=5396.0

In another context, I suggest you ask Schroedinger's cat :)


I've heard of that cat at Impression 5. I didn't understand the uncertainty principle at all...
 

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Offline dedaNoe

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Viruses...alive or not?
« Reply #6 on: 12/04/2007 07:43:54 »
Shrunk
DeDanoe, you seem to be using some rather unorthodox definitions of "cells", "alive", "sick", "healthy", "weight" and others. Could you clarify these?
my terms are clerified in my book Yin Yang Unification of Physics at http://dedanoe.googlepages.com/knigata.pdf [nofollow] it's in armagedonian language but you can ask for translation at http://www.pmf.ukim.edu.mk/ [nofollow]
 

another_someone

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Viruses...alive or not?
« Reply #7 on: 13/04/2007 02:54:26 »
I've heard of that cat at Impression 5. I didn't understand the uncertainty principle at all...

Sorry, I meant to get back to this earlier.

I'm not sure that even physicists always understand it – certainly the whole question of Schrödinger's cat was to show some of the absurdities of the theory, but still the theory seems to give the right answers, however absurd it may seem at times.

Essentially, it boils down to the wave nature of matter, and the fact that waves behave differently from solid particles.  I don't claim to know all the maths behind it, but it basically says that the if you try and look too closely at where a particle is, you will just get a blurred image of the particle (you cannot pin down exactly where and how fast a particle is, you know either one or the other).

But the  Schrödinger's cat thought experiment goes into one aspect of that.  The debate that was going on was whether the particle was really blurred, or whether it was just our vision of it that was blurred.  What is considered the Copenhagen interpretation was that it was not just the human observer who could not know exactly where the particle was, but that the particle itself did not know where it was – and it was not until the observer actually looked at the particle that the particle could tell where it was.  Up until the point in time that the observer actually looked at the particle, the particle could be in any one of many places, but only when it was actually observed did it actually decide which place it would be in.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger's_cat
Quote
Schrödinger wrote:
Quote
    One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of the hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.

    It is typical of these cases that an indeterminacy originally restricted to the atomic domain becomes transformed into macroscopic indeterminacy, which can then be resolved by direct observation. That prevents us from so naively accepting as valid a "blurred model" for representing reality. In itself it would not embody anything unclear or contradictory. There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph and a snapshot of clouds and fog banks.


Needless to say, nobody has actually tried this experiment, but to date, the Copenhagen interpretation is the one favoured by most modern physicists, and still seems to give good answers to real world questions (except those concerning cats).
 

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Viruses...alive or not?
« Reply #7 on: 13/04/2007 02:54:26 »

 

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