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Ursula Goodenough

I’ve lost track of which “Western science” definition(s) of life are to be included in the forthcoming glossary, but I’ll go ahead and offer the ” minimal list of list of features that constitute all present-day organisms on planet earth” that I offered in our course The Epic of Evolution.


1) Ability to capture and utilize energy from the environment.


2) Self-maintenance.


3) Reproduction of one’s kind.


4) Capacity to evolve


The first three can be subsumed under the category of “purposive” or “teleodynamic” which, in my view, is a phenomenon that showed up on this planet with organisms.