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Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, sweating to reduce temperature. Organization: Being composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life. Metabolism: Consumption of energy by converting nonliving material into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life. Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of synthesis than catalysis. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter. The particular species begins to multiply and expand as the evolution continues to flourish. Adaptation: The ability to change over a period of time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity as well as the composition of metabolized substances, and external factors present. Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism when touched to complex reactions involving all the senses of higher animals. A response is often expressed by motion, for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun or an animal chasing its prey. Reproduction: The ability to produce new organisms. Reproduction can be the division of one cell to form two new cells. Usually the term is applied to the production of a new individual (either asexually, from a single parent organism, or sexually, from at least two differing parent organisms), although strictly speaking it also describes the production of new cells in the process of growth.
I think there is only one 'organism' or 'unit' or 'body' that could represent God - the Universe itself. Guess that pegs me as a pantheist or something, but nothing smaller would suffice, given the concept of Him as all-encompassing.
'Life' is only a *part* of this system
Quote from: chimera on 05/05/2007 02:31:05I think there is only one 'organism' or 'unit' or 'body' that could represent God - the Universe itself. Guess that pegs me as a pantheist or something, but nothing smaller would suffice, given the concept of Him as all-encompassing. But this fact alone, that there is and only can be one, implies that reproduction is impossible, and so that which you regard as God cannot be alive.Quote from: chimera on 05/05/2007 02:31:05'Life' is only a *part* of this system This would further imply that you think that living organisms are a concept that is separate from God, although you infer that life is part of something that is not alive (which is not wholly unreasonable of itself - although there is a general prejudice that sentience is an exclusive preserve of the living, which if true would imply that God is not sentient, or alternatively one would have to say that the non-living can also be sentient).
Well, reproduction could be a new universe, so would be outside the scope of our senses. Maybe check Lee Smolin's idea on baby universes via black holes - I don't think he's right, but there's apparently many ways to slice this.
I don't think that living organisms are a concept that's separate from God, by necessity. I tried to clumsily explain that life and death are two extremes on a scale, and the exact transients are muddy. The totality would be something 'bigger' than life in itself, since it would *produce* it, and when that happens, can we still speak about a 'lifeless' system - see my remarks about Gaia.
Same goes for sentience in a way - Darwinism is blind, yet works 'as if' nature takes 'smart' decisions. The big problem in AI is definining consciousness, intelligence and all those monikers in an objective way - and we find we are hard put to even get close to something that works in all cases and is an objective measure. Noone agrees on anything, there. Systems can appear more intelligent than individuals - all depends on what you think 'intelligent' is. Some say you can only judge that in retrospect, meaning that 'making the correct choice' and 'success' are an integral part - and we already know Darwinism is not necessarily intelligent either - oops.
(1) If by this, you are suggesting that there is one God per universe, and multiple universes, then this is a very different scenario to your earlier suggestion that there was only one God.(2) Ofcourse, the inference here is that we may only, in any specific sense, be aware of one God, but the inference must still be that we are in a general sense aware of the existence of more than one God.(3) Sentience is not merely about making 'intelligent' decisions, it is about self awareness; although I agree that does not make it an easy thing to define.(4)One thing that must inevitably be the case is that to be aware of 'self', one must be aware of 'other', which I suppose again precludes something for which there is no 'other'. (5) But nonetheless, I do agree that sentience is separate from the definition of life, and neither demands or precludes the other.
(1) Well, the ability to procreate wasn't really necessarily part of my definition of life, but on your list - so I just handed a possible scenario. Dunno if it's a necessity, or even something that's actually relevant, see 
(2) Think that's straight from the Bible, not worshiping other gods. Sortof does not rule out their existence, same as with 'spirits' in the witch of Endor story - it's there allright, but thou shalt not mess with it. Anyone's guess.