Re: Life in the Lab -- Review Paper

Massie (
Tue, 18 May 1999 16:32:27 -0700 wrote:
> In a message dated 5/18/99 1:22:47 PM Mountain Daylight Time,
> writes:
> > People have a notion of what it is to be alive and is obviously governed by
> > the living things that surrounds us. In a theory of the synthesis of life,
> > there will invariably be some "transitional" forms of life that would
> > neither be common nor obvious. Therein will reside the disputes of whether
> > life arises from nonliving matter or not.
> Most lay common sense notions of physical reality turn out to be wrong; as a
> physicist you should know that very well. So a common sense notion of life
> is irrelevant. The dispute over whether protocells are life will not be
> resolved until people realize that the only definition really significant to
> the debate is a biological one, and a biological definition of life will be
> closely tied to molecular and cellular biological theory.
> Kevin L. O'Brien


Would you please stop calling them "protocells." They are not proto
anything. This is a naming game. In advertising, they say "Tell the
big lie often enough and they will believe it."

Lets be honest and find a neutral name for these "little balls of Carbon
based chemicals" and then state that some feel that these are alive and
that others don't.

Bert Massie