Is the absence of a consensus for the definition of life a reflection of methodological and technical limitations, constrained intellectual frameworks—or both? Science is without a doubt increasingly better at characterizing what life does with each passing day but brings comparatively fewer advances to the identification of what life is and how it originates. In that respect, the current exploration of the question of life could be compared to plumbing, which masters piping, cares about the interactions between the water and the pipes but does not touch on the origin and nature of water.
Is it because the answer resides at scales and resolutions technology cannot yet achieve, or is it that life is the result of exotic physicochemical processes yet to be discovered—or none of those things? Maybe the issue does not reside so much here, but rather in the way we approach the question itself, which is the result of how we are conditioned to think. It may be that life actually is what life does, that the answer has been in front of us all along, so obvious that we just don’t recognize it because our intellectual frameworks do not allow the space for us to see it…
In that frame of reference, Gaia is not a cybernetic feedback system operated unconsciously by the biota anymore but a conscious symbiosis at a planetary scale. Coevolution is not what happens when life comes into being. It merely defines the threshold of our awareness of life’s ability to shape the universe.Nathalie A. Cabrol, “The Quantum of Life?” at Scientific American
Remember as you read about Gaia and “life’s ability to shape the universe,” that this op-ed appeared in Scientific American, not Mystic Waters News.
Listen carefully and, somewhere in the background, you will hear Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne crooning, “I fought Woo-WOO and woo-WOO won.” Some North American readers will recognize a musical snatch here.
In fairness, we warned them. ID isn’t the big enemy. ID proposes to reform evolution studies along real-world lines, not to dump the canon of science.
See also: Why some scientists believe the universe is conscious
Panpsychism: You are conscious but so is your coffee mug
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