21.What%20is%20life_06 - What is LIFE? 7) Tipler and Barrow...

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What is LIFE ? 7) Tipler and Barrow • It is a sufficient condition for matter to be called life if it has self-reproduction at some level, and stores information which is preserved by natural selection. • “It is only the fact that natural selection occurs with living beings that allows us to distinguish living beings from crystals in terms of self reproduction.” • “It is a necessary condition for some organisms in any biosphere to satisfy the above sufficient condition.” • Viruses satisfy the sufficient conditions, but can be crystallized. Cars fit the sufficient conditions, as do memes. • Computer viruses, the first man-made life? What is meant by ‘species’? • A species is defined as any group of potentially interbreeding individuals. • Many rough edges to this definition. • Comforting to know that folk- taxonomy is close to the scientific taxonomies. Species and Population • Species – Individuals (plant, animals, microbes) with strong similarities, having close genetic relationship. – Group of organisms that can interbreed and produce viable offspring. • Population – Members of a species that live within a given area (in communication and capable of interbreeding). Biota - Habitat • Biota - Biotic Community. – Assemblage of living entities (plant, animals, microbes) • plant community • animal community • microbial community • Habitat – Area where an individual, a species, or a population exists or can exist. Ecosystem • A group of organisms (Biotic Community) interacting with its non- biological (Abiotic) surroundings and properties in a manner that perpetuates the grouping. – Self sustaining part of the ecosphere.
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course SYGN 101 taught by Professor Shorey during the Spring '08 term at Mines.

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21.What%20is%20life_06 - What is LIFE? 7) Tipler and Barrow...

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