Life

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Helen, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    We talk about God being in charge of life. We ask if there is 'life' in outer space.

    I am curious. What do you all see as defining life?

    Is life simply a series of chemical reactions that can repeat itself?

    What are we talking about when we say 'life'?

    Jesus defined eternal life in John 17:3. That is something spiritual. Is it also something that involves the physical and mental?

    When the body dies, we are still alive, right?

    So what is life?
     
  2. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    If we are Christians when the body dies that is when the best part of life begins.
     
  3. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    Life isn't just us, life is also trees and bacteria . . . we're not just alive, we're also spiritual and mental beings.

    Rule out reproduction. I'm alive and I've been "fixed".

    Entropy is always involved. Life doesn't violate the laws of thermodynamics - nothing does! But life always seems to involve a local maintaining of a given level of entropy in spite of using energy . . . (The trick is to foist off the necessary increased entropy to the world outside the living organism) . .

    There is hemeostasis, a consistent ability to keep one's self together in spite of the changes in the environment . . . but not just a simple, mechanical thermostat, we don't think of them as being "alive" . .

    How about this: Life is a characteristic of being able to maintain a complex structure dynamically at a relatively constant local level of entropy while actively moderating a directed energy flow through the living entity?

    Sorry for the complexity of the definition. Its an inherently complex subject.

    That is physical life. It might be interesting to see how far we would map that into the ideas of mental life and spiritual life. What would take the place of physical energy if we are talking about spiritual life?
     
  4. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    20
    Helen wrote,

    No, when our body dies, we are dead.

    It is very important to distinguish between biological life and spiritual life. Our body is temporal; our soul is eternal.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Craig, for me, my body is just what I am living in right now. Like an old rusty car, it is getting weaker, but inside, I am getting stronger. There will come a time of separation, when I get out of this body and the body undergoes destruction. I will not be dead, however.

    I noticed many years ago a funny thing about our language which started me thinking. I have had some major knee surgeries and am now on my second total knee replacement on one side. When I was recuperating and going through the physical therapy, I would say things like "my poor old knee!" It belonged to me, but it wasn't me. No more than my clothes or my car are me.

    I taught biology for years, so of course I am aware of the fact that spiritual and physical life are vastly different things.

    But evening defining physical life is difficult. Biblically, bacteria and trees are NOT alive, but simply chemically replicating systems.

    Jesus defined spiritual life as KNOWING the Father and Himself. Understanding that this is not simply an intellectual thing (as evidenced by "depart from me, I never knew you"), but rather a deep communion, the spiritual death is being apart from God.

    Still, physical life. WHAT is it? The more I have studied biology, the less able I am able to define it.
     
  6. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,641
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think I get the point of your post, but I don't see this statement as accurate. I, too, am aware of this scientific debate concerning viruses, but with the complexity of bacteria and even the complexity of plant life even on the molecular level, I don't see how you can say this isn't "life."

    Having said that, I think I get your point anyway.
     
  7. El_Guero

    El_Guero
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,714
    Likes Received:
    0
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    20
    Helen wrote,

    Even today, there are many individuals teaching biology in our public schools who have not completed a master degree in that subject. Indeed, I have read that some schools have individuals teaching biology who have not even completed a bachelor’s degree in that subject! Therefore, the number of years that an individual “teaches” biology is not at all indicative of that individual’s knowledge of biology.

    It appears to me that you are confusing biology and the Bible, and physical death with spiritual death.

    It appears to me that you are confusing the concepts of knowing and never knowing with the concepts of oneness and separation.

    The definition of physical life, from the viewpoint of biology, is a discussion for a science forum rather than a Bible and theology forum. Throughout you post, you have gone back and forth between biology and the Bible. Such a practice can only lead to further confusion.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    Agreed, we don't have to go into outer space to have difficulty defining life.

    Are parasites like viruses which do not metabolize on their own alive?

    What about prions which don't even have genetic material?
     
  10. Petrel

    Petrel
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,408
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, prions are not alive. They are abnormal proteins, and their only replicative ability is the ability to induce normal prion protein to undergo a conformational change to the abnormal conformation.

    With viruses you could debate this. I would say that they are nonliving.

    If one argues that viruses are living, that produces an interesting question. Retrotransposons are fragments of DNA in our genomes that copy themselves into RNA, then convert back to DNA and splice into the genome in a new place (they can be useful--or harmful!--in making new mutations). It is speculated that they came from retroviruses that lost their ability to encapsulate and leave the cell and thus became obligate intracellular parasites. So if viruses are considered to be alive, would we consider these little DNA fragments to be living? I think not.
     

Share This Page

Loading...