Once in my biology class, we had an experiment that was all about differentiating living and non-living things. We were told by our teacher to go out the school ground and collect 5 specimens of living and non-living things. Back to the lab, the class started to gather all their collections and classified them either living or non-living things. Leaves, butterflies, worms, dragonflies, flowers, roots, twigs, birds, bugs, fruits, dogs, squirrels were considered as living things. Soda cans, plastic bottles, stones, candy sticks, paper bags, dirt, air we breathe, water in the fountain were considered as non-living things.
After completing the lab sheets, the class was asked what makes a living thing different from a nonliving thing. And from a very interesting lengthy discussion, two kinds of classifications came up on the board. The first one was according to how specimens are classified based on how science defines life; and, the second was according to how they are created – by nature or by man.
By the way, I was the one who proposed the second classification. I told my teacher that air, water, and dirt could be in the list of living things since they were all created by nature (life begets life), while the rest of the specimens which were created by man were simply non-living things.
My teacher said that my observations were not enough to satisfy that air, water and dirt have life. She told us that an object to be considered alive or with life must have or had all the following signs or characteristics.
• Living things consume food in the form of energy.
• Living things are moving or in motion.
• Living things reproduce with an exact copy of itself.
• Living things react to its surrounding environment.
• Living things are made up of cells.
Aside from these criteria, animals and plants were considered alive because they can talk, can walk, can see, can feel, can think, can swim and some can even fly. Bioscientists named these objects as organisms or living species. I called these natural objects including air, water, earth and fire as biophysies.
On the contrary, medical scholars and legal experts defined death as:
• Total failure of the heart to function.
• Total failure of the lungs to function.
• Total failure of the brain stem to function.
But nowadays, clinically dead person can be revived to life by replacing their dead heart with artificial ventricular mechanical pump or their dead lungs with artificial rubber membranes. However, this type of surgical operation can only be done if the brain stem is still intact.
The brain stem is a crucial organ that bridges the spinal cord to the main brain. If this stem is damaged, resuscitation cannot be applied any longer and the person’s life can suddenly come to an end. Legally, death has occurred here even though the heart and lungs are still operational which of course will die eventually. The process of restoring the damage organs is what medicine called “organ transplant”. Organ transplant, which is next to self-healing, will become the elixir of life in the future.
As you see, science experts and medical scholars have different views about life and death. Science provided a general description of life while medicine provided specific descriptions of death. In order to have a distinct description, a common characteristic must be established and embraced by all natural objects.
If life is defined base on how medical experts defined death, then an object to be considered alive must have a functional heart, lungs and brain. But obviously these definitions are not applicable to all living things like for example – plants. Trees and flowers (as how most people thought) do not have a heart, lungs or even brain yet; they are considered alive or with life.
On the other hand, if death is defined base on how science experts defined life; then an object is considered dead when it is no longer moving, consuming energy, reproducing, and reacting to its environment.
The latter definition is satisfactory adequate since it applies to both living things and natural non-living things. However, if we rearranged the criteria of life base on their level of importance and reduced them by the process of elimination, energy will be the only criteria that will be left.
Natural objects, either living or non-living, cannot be in motion without energy, reproduce cells without energy or react to its surroundings without consuming energy. Energy, viegenetically called force-energy or energyforce, is the key indicator that determines if a natural object is dead or alive.
Living and natural non-living things have life because they carry the necessary force-energy they need to stay alive. The flow of life emerges constantly from one system to another new system, from one family to another new family, from the physical world to the abstract world if and only if this energyforce flows continuously forever with time.
This is the Law of Spontaneous Infinity in action. It is force-energy that provides the push or switching effect that turns on all natural things to be alive. This boundless energy, like the electrical energy that lights up a bulb, is the energy that gives life to all living and natural non-living things.
Conversely, death is not energy. Like birth, it is a conditional state of the physical body. It does not have the ability to flow from one system to another. It does not have the capacity to do work. Death is the telltale sign that a system has stopped.
In human terms, death is the rejection of life, the ending of creation and the beginning of being in a new system. On the other hand, birth is the acceptance of life, the beginning of creation and the ending of a previous life or system. Death, not Life, is the alterpair of Birth.
But what is the alterpair of life (energyforce)? Life’s dualpair is the physical plane we called the material world. These are the physical objects that surround us. In viegenesis views, the abstract energyforce (energy) and the physical wavemass (matter) are the something and nothing that “breaths and carries life”. Energy is the giver of life and Matter is the receiver of life. They are the vitalic two in one that creates the notion we called LIFE.
Life, as with all biophysies, is simply “food (matter) and play (energy)”.
” Matter is the vehicle that carries energy; Energy is the breath that animates matter into life.” ~ from the book Evolution of Creation