Debating the God Construct

Discussion of Skeptic magazine and Letters to the Editor
FredLewis
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Debating the God Construct

Postby FredLewis » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:01 pm

Naverick concludes the article with a discussion of cryopreservation wherein he declares that "Cells that remain alive in the absence of biochemical activity are evidence that life is not a product of, or equivalent to, biochemical activity.".

Wikipedia advances the following criteria for life:

Since there is no unequivocal definition of life, the current understanding is descriptive. Life is considered a characteristic of something that exhibits all or most of the following traits:

Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, sweating to reduce temperature.

Organization: Being structurally composed of one or more cells — the basic units of life.

Metabolism: Transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.

Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of anabolism than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter.

Adaptation: The ability to change over time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity, diet, and external factors.

Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism to external chemicals, to complex reactions involving all the senses of multicellular organisms. A response is often expressed by motion; for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun (phototropism), and chemotaxis.

Reproduction: The ability to produce new individual organisms, either asexually from a single parent organism, or sexually from two parent organisms, "with an error rate below the sustainability threshold."

These complex processes, called physiological functions, have underlying physical and chemical bases, as well as signaling and control mechanisms that are essential to maintaining life.


The only characteristic that frozen cells share with this definition is the one of organization. For all intents and purposes, a cryogenically frozen organism is dead and lifeless. Navarick says "As the cell is thawed, the pre-existing property of life enables biochemical activity to resume.". The enabler is not the pre-existing quality of life but the thawing of the organism. Navarick's cryogenic argument actually bolsters the contention that life is not some unperceptable consequence of a god but rather that life is a product of, and is equivalent to, biochemical activity.

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Re: Debating the God Construct

Postby TJrandom » Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:30 am

FredLewis wrote:... The only characteristic that frozen cells share with this definition is the one of organization. ....


I`d add Adaptation: The ability to change over time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity, diet, and external factors..... as certainly the warming environment that triggers thawing gives opportunity for renewed biochemical activity - a response to a change in the environment.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist
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Re: Debating the God Construct

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:07 am

FredLewis wrote: Navarick's cryogenic argument actually bolsters the contention that life is not some unperceptable consequence of a god but rather that life is a product of, and is equivalent to, biochemical activity.

I don't see the connection/consequence/causation AT ALL. That happens a lot with god.
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