Copper Bezel wrote: Quey wrote:
LockeZ wrote:Shouldn't Polio be protected from hunting at this point, since it's an endangered species? If it were a plant or animal we'd be trying to reintroduce it to the environments that it had been eradicated from. Outside of sapient, intelligent beings, what makes one form of life less valuable than another? There's nothing about the Polio virus that makes it less worth saving than the bison.
Well isn't that the argument with viruses, that they are not a form of life? Bison have cells, metabolism, and the ability to replicate on their own, whereas viruses don't.
Eh, everything in that definition is either on a grade or incidental. Cells are just the structure used to do the other two, and nothing is truly on its own. Stromatolites, maybe.
On a grade or incidental? The manner of replication, maybe. The mere presence of metabolism and cell membranes? That's pretty binary.
For addressing the original quoted question, I think it's a fair characterization that most views of viruses are along the lines of "less alive" or not alive at all, due to some of the criteria I mentioned, among others. Not to open another can of worms, but it's like saying, "among planets, what makes Pluto less interesting?", when the description "planet" is disputed.