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James MacAllister

 Many better men and women have wrestled with attempts to define life. Perhaps Humberto Maturana and Francisco Vatema come the closest to explaining why life defies simply definitions. Vernadsky recognized that there was a difference between the geophysical Earth and what he called living matter. Lovelock used the metaphor of the Earth as a superorganism, but he agreed with Margulis that they were describing the Bioshere within the Earth system. Terms in science usually have very specific meanings. It degrades clear communication to misapply terminology and that doing so is scientific.  Genes are incapable of selfishness. You cannot have a symbiotic relationship with another human being. The Living Universe may be poetic, life may be common in the Universe, but if the Universe is alive, what then is not?