- Dec 2, 2008
- Possibly 4w5
Well most life as we know it possesses the quality to evolve. This is my strongest argument against considering the computer virus a life form.It comes back to the question, where does biological life begin - self replicating amino acid chains? Cellular lifeforms? In the latter, a biological virus would not be an independent life form, but simply a part of life.
More to the point, scientists use many instruments that only provide abstract results. How do we give them meaning? How do we know this meaning is valid or useful? This is when we start getting towards the philosophy of science and ideas such as critical rationalism.
The right combination of environmental conditions and elements and compounds may produce chemical reactions which eventually lead to the development of single celled organisms, however the single celled organisms are considered life because they have the capacity to evolve. Given the proper stimuli and required nutrients it also possesses the capacity to reproduce into another organism of the same type but better suited to its environment.
A program which possesses the capacity to not only reproduce but to rewrite its code according to environmental stimuli, and pass these functions on to its replications might be considered life according to my definition, however I think that this might be impossible to do with current technology because programs are only capable of processing information linearly, in a one dimensional fashion. Even if you multithread it, you're still breaking up program components into more linear chunks.