May 20th, 2002 09:39 PM
I thought it might be nice to point out that medical science does not consider a biological virus to be "alive" because it does not have any cells. So you're argument doesn't work.
Given your argument, Fire is alive.
It consumes fuel, it produces offspring (spreads/match-to-flame etc), and permanately changes what it consumes.
"Viruses infect people's (and animals) bodies, mutating them....
Well so does pc viriis. They infect a file or proggy and change settings and so...
Viruses can permanetaly affect someone (ie: chicken pocks)...
PC Viruses can permanetaly damage hardware...."
May 20th, 2002 10:16 PM
As pointed out before, there is no generally accepted theory for life.
Let's take a look at the points of view on how life originated:
- Some say there has always been life.
- Some say life comes out of space.
- Some say some godly entity was involved.
The scientific consensus is that life originated from non-living matter. No wonder there's a thin line between life and not-life. There are several 'in-between-forms': virii and prions: living creatures or pure matter? The question is of course: what criteria do we base our definition on? According to the biological model, a living creature has a metabolism, is capable of standing firm against the outer world, and is capable of assimilating with its environment.
The problem with this is that biologists only have one model of life, namely the one that we know...
A newer variant is artificial life as developed on computers. Some programs are capable of reproduction, mutation and even evolution.
Who knows, we might eventually be able to make 3-dimensional robots who can be catalogued as living, even though they wouldn't be conform to Darwins laws. The main difference would be that we would be creating life with an aim, meaning we'd be the ones planning their evolution.
I posted something about Darwins theories on the Cosmos Forum a while ago. As you probably know, according to Darwin there's no aim in evolution...
It's not completely unimaginary that the forms of artificial life on our computers will, one day, escape from our control. At that point, we could compare the internet to an ecosystem with a competition between computer programs acting as autonomous life-forms - uncontrolled, untill we pull the plug....
May 20th, 2002 10:41 PM
I just wanted to point out that just because life is disigned, doesn't mean it itsn't life...
- Jimmy Mac
Replicants are like any technology, if there not a hazard, its not my problem....
May 20th, 2002 11:17 PM
A few people stated that there wasn't definition of life- it's been a while since I took Biology, but there was a very complexed definition of life. Viruses in a Biological view are not living because they have no standalone metabolic function, and can not reproduce themselves (the hijacked cells reproduce the virus). All functions of life are perfomed only by the infected cell- therefor a virus is non-living.
Also to clear up- A viruses are not defined by a mixture of chemicals. By that definition nearly everything is a virus, because everything is composed of chemicals.
Viruses are fragments of DNA or RNA, that contain enough genetic code to exhist.
Computer viruses may apear to somewhat to be living (by reproducing, adaptation, self regulation, and so on), however the process is strictly mechanical.
May 21st, 2002 05:48 PM
There is various definitions for life....
Biologists have their own, elaborate one, while do philosophers, lawyers, and activists!
It's all in the context of how you look at it and which class you are part of (ie: bio, law)
I've noticed that some people want to look at things in black and white, being it's either true or false.....
Look at things from a grayscale point of view and not one of monochrome....
Yes, a pc virus does not contain any physical tissue, it does not consume and leave waste, it does not breathe air, nor take energy from the sun (not counting solar panels)....
But like some have said, people mistake Antichat as a person in the IRC channel...
People will talk to stuffed animals....
People will converse with AI bots for conversation and (sickening) stimulation....
It's all in the "eye on the beholder"
If we continue to keep our outlook and observations in monochrone, wouldn't we believe that Windows is in fact secure? That the only thing we need is a Firewall for security?
My book is not a living matter, yet the pages in my book, at one time, were a living tree...
Could you not say, in some light, that my book was alive?
May 21st, 2002 07:02 PM
I only have to say one thing... AI isnt "life" AI is intelligence. Virii dont have AI because they dont act on their own. The use of AI should not have even been introduced into the subject of virii as being alive. whether or not it is "life"... it acts it doesnt react. Life reacts so I would say that its not alive
May 22nd, 2002 04:15 PM
Eer..... Tuskin, we ment that if an AI was infected by a virus, would that constitute as a way of comparison to humans getting an infection.....
May 22nd, 2002 04:31 PM
Your explanation of a virus, is actually WHY they are called virus', not every details is perfect but what else would we call it? A hydramacloro or a nasty bastard?
May 22nd, 2002 05:43 PM
the whole fact that, when you update your virus scanner, and it finds a virus, it is deleted. some viruses are programmed to evade Vx scanners, but dosnt evolve past it original program, all a virus is, is a program to expoit diff vulrabilitys in the system, and is told what to do by hte progammer.
if viruses are alive then, so is you word document u saved last night! or as someone said easlier -so`s the sims
May 22nd, 2002 06:02 PM
You never know though. Someone could implement some timed code to change the way the virus would work, or when the virus infects another file, transfers only part of the code, so the virus "evolves" in a sense to another virus....
That would make the virus a huge one, easily noticeable and so, but ya never know, no?