Home Forums Deep Time Journey Forum Is the universe a "living system"? Reply To: Is the universe a "living system"?

Karen Chaffee

Why do we need to describe the universe as living (according do some arbitrary man-made definition of such)  to find it connected, beyond our current understanding and to find the Earth worthy of our stewardship?
A single bacteria in a Petri dish is living.  A previous forum delineated  the really neat attributes of bacteria ; still, I believe a bacteria  is reducible to the physics and chemistry of its components.  I have colleagues who have devoted careers to elucidating the chemistry and thermodynamic of bacterial enzymes.  It’s truly believable that an entire bacterial  creature can be understood by humans someday.
In fact, here’s a mental exercise: imagine that in time chemists design and synthesize a synthetic non DNA or RNA ‘bacteria’ that completely fits all four criteria of ‘life’, but is orders of magnitude simpler than E. coli, and in fact they design it simply because it does exhibit ‘life’.   Would  this simple design be more worthy of our esteem and stewardship than the universe, which we may find does not happen to fit the criteria ?
Robots may some day exhibit consciousness and be precious companions  but still not fit our very arbitrary four criteria.
We can’t get people to kill chickens humanely,  and they are certainly alive.
It seems like maybe people here want to say the universe is ‘human’.  Wow.  That really harks back to the idea of creating man in His image, but it’s cool.  I don’t deny anything, I don’t pretend to know! (Just to clarify, that’s pretty far out and I am not positing the claim, just repeating that as far as the universe goes, I don’t pretend to know.)
It might be more telling to simply list what in the universe we do find worthy (which I guess many here already do) 
Btw, why can’t scientists tell stories?  Not arguing, just don’t understand the idea behind that statement.