You’d think it’d be easy defining “life” – by that I mean the actual processes of living.
Think about it, as living beings, each of us is intimately acquainted with what it means to be alive and exhibits the traits or processes of living entities.
- Metabolism – living entities must intake or consume forms of energy (food) and convert them chemically;
- Holism – an organism can’t be subdivided and still survive;
- Mortality – all living systems are mortal, they will ultimately break down and decay;
- Growth and reproduction – these are necessary characteristics for any individual or population to continue the process of life;
- Inherent stability – this simply means the organism can maintain its structure within an environment that changes;
- Active information – DNA or the instruction manual working with feedback loops for all life functions that occur within the being;
- Flexible control – the ability for the various systems within the organism to regulate and adapt to allow the entity to flourish;