When sitting and watching a fire, it is straightforward toget the idea the it is alive. It movesdynamically, dancing and also sending sparks. That isable come spread across a surface, and also move aboutfrom combustible thing to combustible object. Itconsumes such products as wood, converting theminto ash and other byproducts. It needs oxygen,as though it to be breathing. However, fire ismost absolutely not alive.In fact, nobody ofthese criteria prove the something isalive!Oftentimes us think that all liferequires oxygen. However, over there are plenty of bacteria(called anaerobic bacteria) which perform not needoxygen in ~ all! castle live under in the soil, underoceans and lakes, and in various other areas. To countless ofthem, oxygen is a poison! yet they room definitelyalive. So clearly whether or no something needsoxygen go not show if the isalive.Consciousness together we think of the isprobably no a an excellent determinant for life either. The is extremely unlikely that bacteria, fungi,plants, and also other biology think, due to the fact that they lacka brain or nerves. However they are certainly alive. Because of this whether or no something thinksdoes not present that if is alive. This is the samefor movement, since not all living things move-- in fact, many living things relocate a lot less thanfire! and also many non-living points move, such asthe wind or a car.In order because that somethingto be thought about alive the must have actually severalcharacteristics and also abilities, such together metabolism,growth, reproduction, and solution to stimuli oradaptation come the environment. How does firestack approximately these requirements?Firecertainly seems able to grow. A little campfirecan easily grow come the level the a woodland fire, soyes, it appears to satisfy this criterion.Canfire reproduce? Again, it seems able to! Asingle spark have the right to blow come a different location andstart a new fire. That could be consideredreproduction!
Fire is no alive, return it absolutely seems tohave a psychic of the own! The procedure of oxidationis once substances react through the oxygen in theair to do oxides (like rust ~ above iron, is ironoxide, and when her mom"s silver- tarnishes, thatis silver oxide). Once things oxidize, theyrelease heat. Fire is just very rapid oxidation.Heat rises, and also makes currents of air thatcirculate as the hot air rises - the is whyflames appear to dance and also move around. Fire needsoxygen come burn, and also it needs fuel; for somethingto "burst into flames" it requirements to be in ~ a highenough temperature. Without any one that theseingredients the fire won"t burn. A fire onearth is in a gravitational ar - that is why itis thicker in ~ the bottom. But a flame in the spaceshuttle, in what they contact "microgravity"(*)environment is in reality round! Pretty amazing -imagine a "flame ball"! (* actually there isplenty of gravity up over there - that is why theshuttle stays in orbit - however it is in a state of"free fall" roughly the planet so you _feel_weightless.)
Biologists have combated a little bit over the basicdefinition of life, however all biologists would certainly agreethat fire is not alive. Remember, no all livingthings feed on oxygen (plants feed on carbondioxide), so that"s not a good an interpretation forlife. No all living things relocate (again, tree donot really move), therefore that"s no a very gooddefinition that life. No all living things "think",either (plants carry out not think).What her questionreally comes under to is how to define life. I"vetried to come up through some straightforward definitions oflife. -- because that me, life have the right to be identified by it"smost basic building block -- a cell. If somethingdoes no contain at least one cell, the is notalive. Fire does no contain cells. -- Livingthings save on computer DNA and/or RNA, protein whichcontain the basic information cells use toreproduce themselves. Fire does not contain DNA orRNA. -- living things room made the matter,and you can weigh them. It may be hard to measurethe load of one bacteria, but you obtain the point.You cannot sweet fire, since it is simplyenergy. It has actually no mass. Fire is energy given offwhen issue burns. You can see it, but what yousee is merely light, so you cannot organize it. --Living things grow, and also in growing they make newmatter, but it"s not just any type of old matter. Lifeis organization. All living points make the samebasic things: proteins, fats and carbohydrates,for example. Fire cannot do proteins indigenous theoxygen and also hydrogen and also carbon it "feeds on", justdestroy proteins. This is a significant difference.-- living things call for nutrients andwater, and have complex ways the finding and usingthe things in their external setting that theyneed. Living things likewise have methods of sensing andresponding to threat or attack.
That"s a an excellent question due to the fact that fire does havesome things in common with life things. It needsfuel and oxygen. It deserve to grow. That "reproduces" tomake much more fires. Yet fire is additionally differentfrom living things. Because that one thing, it is no madeof cells. Every living things space made the cells.Also, once fire "reproduces," no informationis pass on. In living things, DNA carriesinformation from one generation come another. Allliving points are adapted to where and how theylive through evolution, which alters DNA end time.Fire is usually the exact same every time. It might bebigger or smaller, hotter or less hot, or movingdifferently, yet that"s all since of theconditions appropriate now, not due to the fact that of informationit inherited in DNA.Another difference is thatall living points come from various other living things.One-celled living points divide to make 2 newone-celled things. Eggs, spores, seeds, babies,and growing brand-new individuals from parts of their"parents" space all means to reproduce brand-new life fromlive things. Fire deserve to come from a match, rubbingsticks together, a spark, or various other things the arenot fire.So fire is a an excellent example ofsomething that has actually some features of life.Thinking about ideas favor this helps us to reallyfigure out what we typical by life.If girlfriend couldmake robots the made various other robots, would they bealive?
According come Hickman, Roberts, and also Larson (1997),any life organism will satisfy the adhering to sevenbasic properties of life:1) Chemicaluniqueness. Living systems show a uniqueand complex molecular organization. 2)Complexity and also hierarchical organization. Livingsystems show a unique and also complexhierarchical organization. 3) Reproduction.Living systems have the right to reproduce themselves. 4)Possession of a hereditary program. A hereditary programprovides fidelity of inheritance. 5)Metabolism. Life organisms keep themselvesby obtaining nutrients from your environments.6) Development. All organisms pass with acharacteristic life cycle. 7) Environmentalreaction. All pets interact v theirenvironment.Fire is not alive. That does notcontain genetically inheritable information, andarguably walk not have a complicated organization.
While that is true that fire feeds on oxygen andmoves that is lacking a really important attribute to beconsidered alive.
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In order to be thought about aliveyou have actually to be able to reproduce one of two people sexuallyor asexually at some point in your life. Allliving things additionally contain a genome (DNA), the istransferred come it"s progeny (offspring)