Featuring science writer Carl Zimmer:
“No one has been able to define life, and some people will tell you it’s not possible to,” says New York Times columnist and science reporter Carl Zimmer on Unexplainable — Vox’s podcast that explores big mysteries, unanswered questions, and all the things we learn by diving into the unknown.
It’s not for a lack of trying. “There are hundreds, hundreds of definitions of life that scientists themselves have published in the scientific literature,” says Zimmer, who wrote about them in his book Life’s Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive. They include everything from simple definitions like “Life is a metabolic network within a boundary” to sentences that seem to require a PhD to decipher: “Life is a monophyletic clade that originated with a last common universal ancestor and includes all its descendants.” – Brian Resnick (March 16, 2023)
You may also wish to read: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips – origin of life What we do and don’t know about the origin of life.