Life Characteristics

Life Characteristics - Life Characteristics Although an...

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Life Characteristics Although an universally, agreed-upon definition of life does not yet exist, there are some necessary characteristics of life (life as we know it). The following list of characteristics are necessary but not sufficient to define life. Many counter examples of non-living things can be given for the characteristics. 1. Organization. All living things are organized and structured at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, system, and individual level. Organization also exists at levels beyond the individual, such as populations, communities, and ecosystems. Possible counter examples could be rock crystals, machines, and electronics. However, it is a nice characteristic because it is visible in a short amount of time and it can also be used with past life. 2. Maintenance/Metabolism. To overcome entropy (the tendency of a system to become more disorganized and less complex), living things use energy to maintain homeostasis (i.e., maintain their sameness; a constant, structured internal environment). Metabolism is a collective term to describe the chemical and physical reactions that result in life. Although non-living things such as electrical or gas appliances use energy too, this
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Life Characteristics - Life Characteristics Although an...

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