Re: Life in the Lab -- Review Paper
Tue, 18 May 1999 15:03:38 EDT

In a message dated 5/18/99 11:28:24 AM Mountain Daylight Time, writes:

> I have one advice and that is to make the definition of what is alive clear
> and complete.

Noted; thank you for your input. However, a definition of life can never be
complete, since there will always be people who will dispute any definition
no matter how detailed. The key is to develop a definition that both matches
the evidence and offers testable predictions about what may or may not be
covered by it.

> I think the notion of something being alive is not as trivial
> as it may sound.

Trivial no, but it may be far simpler than most people suppose.

> One must also note that articles written on the synthesis
> of life that do not mention the work of Fox may be viewed as critical to
> claims make by Fox and Co.

You might assume it, but in fact you cannot claim that a failure to mention
any particular claim or concept is criticism of that claim or concept. It
could be as simple as the authors didn't know about it, or it could be that
they felt the claim or concept had no bearing on their discussion, or any of
a series of possibilities. Had they really wanted to be critical they should
in fact say something to that affect. To ignore a claim or concept you don't
agree with is unprofessional.

Kevin L. O'Brien