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Are viruses the missing link between non-life and life?

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posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 06:22 AM
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I was curious as to whether a flu virus can be killed if the human body received a low-level shot of electricity. Come to find out that viruses aren't even alive.

From www.virology.ws... Are Viruses Living


According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary, life is “an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction.” Viruses are not living things. Viruses are complicated assemblies of molecules, including proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates, but on their own they can do nothing until they enter a living cell. Without cells, viruses would not be able to multiply. Therefore, viruses are not living things.


Only under very specific conditions can a virus multiply. Isn't this what science is trying to tell us about how life got started? What is the difference between non-living things that don't affect us and living things that do? It just seems like viruses are halfway between these two points.




posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 06:42 AM
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Another question, did bacteria evolve from viruses or did viruses devolved from bateria?

Also, check these things out:


Prions propagate by transmitting a misfolded protein state. When a prion enters a healthy organism, it induces existing, properly folded proteins to convert into the disease-associated, prion form; the prion acts as a template to guide the misfolding of more proteins into prion form. These newly formed prions can then go on to convert more proteins themselves; this triggers a chain reaction that produces large amounts of the prion form

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 07:21 AM
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By that definition a virus is not alive. However, it seems to be a parasite adapted enough to the environment to survive, find a host, and reproduce. It then gets into a position to infect more hosts and continue to survive.

It has a strategy to survive, find a host, reproduce, and continue to infect more hosts. That sounds like something that is alive to me. It may be so basic a life form that it could be considered the half-way point to being just another chemical compound reacting to the environment and other compounds, however . . .

This comes back to the idea that everything is just mechanical including biology, the body as the machine. So either life is just a machine made of dead molecules, or everything is alive and there is a "ghost in the machine".

I like to believe that everything is alive and has a desire to exist and fight against entropy.



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 09:36 AM
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Originally posted by MichiganSwampBuck
By that definition a virus is not alive. However, it seems to be a parasite adapted enough to the environment to survive, find a host, and reproduce. It then gets into a position to infect more hosts and continue to survive.

It has a strategy to survive, find a host, reproduce, and continue to infect more hosts. That sounds like something that is alive to me. It may be so basic a life form that it could be considered the half-way point to being just another chemical compound reacting to the environment and other compounds, however . . .

This comes back to the idea that everything is just mechanical including biology, the body as the machine. So either life is just a machine made of dead molecules, or everything is alive and there is a "ghost in the machine".

I like to believe that everything is alive and has a desire to exist and fight against entropy.


Very interesting, though I'd go with machines made of lifeless molecules and the idea that life evolved from inert matter. With viruses possibly being a middle ground somehow. Admittedly I have no background to back this up. There just seems to be a logic in this theory that I can't put my finger on.



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 05:50 PM
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I remember an argument in OMNI magazine when it was still around where some researchers opined that viruses were nothing more than self-replicating chemicals . (or maybe chemical compounds ,I forget)
I just made note that some very smart people didn't think that viruses were even alive although pretty close to it . Apparently that argument never did get settled and I ain't likely to solve it since it's a little over my head .

Had to respond though over the word "missing" in your title , having just gotten over the flu I'm pretty sure I found one virus that ain't missing .



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 05:55 PM
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Originally posted by thudpuddy


Had to respond though over the word "missing" in your title , having just gotten over the flu I'm pretty sure I found one virus that ain't missing .


LOL That's what started my search on viruses. I had a nasty cold/flu in December, and now I either have another one or the one from last month simply went dormant for a while. Either way it definitely isn't missing here either!



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 06:02 PM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 


Crystals and minerals are the only non-life self replicating structures. It would interesting to find them to be involved at some point of the selection process.

I think the whole fatty vesticles thing is rather good at getting it all started.

Search for some videos on Abiogenisis on youtube... that would be a better educator.



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 06:45 PM
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Originally posted by Wertdagf
reply to post by jiggerj
 


Crystals and minerals are the only non-life self replicating structures. It would interesting to find them to be involved at some point of the selection process.

I think the whole fatty vesticles thing is rather good at getting it all started.

Search for some videos on Abiogenisis on youtube... that would be a better educator.


But I just read that viruses are self replicating, but only in specific environments. I've done the abiogenisis clips. Proteins, aminos, r n a, dna... But at no point has there ever been an explanation on the evolutionary process of something becoming ten percent alive - 90% inert, then 40% alive - 60% inert... see where I'm going with this? If viruses are, or were, somewhere between RNA and DNA it would answer a lot of questions. What those questions are, I have NO idea.



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 06:52 PM
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Ummm... viruses aren;t a missing link between non life and life. Viruses aren't missing at all, they are all around us.
I personally think they are living things myself, I feel the definition of living that we have is wrong.



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 11:30 PM
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The definition of life is wrong. Everything is alive.



posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 11:44 PM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 

you are correct that viruses aren't classically considered alive, but the problem with your post is that viruses require the same genetic code that every living thing has. there is no known method of abiogenesis, nor is one likely to exist. even a single cell is incredibly complex, and to suggest it somehow assembled itself is illogical.

here's a good video going over a SINGLE cell.




posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 05:01 AM
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reply to post by Bob Sholtz
 





there is no known method of abiogenesis, nor is one likely to exist. even a single cell is incredibly complex, and to suggest it somehow assembled itself is illogical.


You have no idea how much I want to do the human thing and agree with you. The human thing being that when we are in awe of something we don't understand (yet) we jump to the conclusion of a designer. But, history has shown us time and time again that we have been wrong time and time again.

We were frightened of volcanoes and earthquakes and hurricanes. So awesomely frightening were they that we thought for sure a god was behind them; and then we figured out how these things naturally occurred.

We called plagues and rashes and illnesses a curse from god. We didn't know about viruses and bacteria back then.

So for now, I must disagree with you based on our history of always being wrong. If we look at life assembling itself as being illogical, then we're just following the same path we've always gone down. And, I just don't want to go there.
edit on 1/27/2013 by jiggerj because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 02:07 PM
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Of course viruses are alive. People used to think dogs couldn't see color, or understand spoken words, and scientists argued that humans couldn't "fall in love" in the distant past. Viruses are alive, imnho, at their size level as we are at our "macro" scale.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 02:56 PM
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Say hello to Fred, the friendly virus...



Did evolution create that?





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