Re: Life in the Lab -- Fox and the Nobel Prize
Thu, 6 May 1999 08:17:50 EDT

In a message dated 5/5/99 11:31:16 PM Mountain Daylight Time, writes:

> Kevin: Fox used the following characteristics to define life: cellularity,
> metabolism, reproduction, and response to external stimuli.
> Not bad. But in order to settle the issue, others will have to agree with
> you and Fox. They can also move their goalposts. Personally I believe that
> Fox's protocells are certainly make good candidates.

I cannot speak for our creationist "friends", but this is the definition you
will find in the dictionary and most biology textbooks. Even Fox's
scientific critics agree that these are basic characteristics of life; they
simply want to add other characteristics that are based on features that even
they admit did not appear until later in the history of the origin of life on
earth. In other words, they would agree that Fox's protocells are at least
partially alive (they have "protolife") compaired to modern cells. Fox is
simply arguing that his four characteristics are the most basic, fundamental
features that any protocell must have to even be proto-alive, and that the
other features some critics prefer are merely more advanced examples of the
simpler systems and structures his protocells already possess.

Kevin L. O'Brien