Publication 3964

El-Hani C. N. (2008) Theory-based approaches to the concept of life. Journal of Biological Education 42(4): 147–149.
In this paper, I argue that characterisations of life through lists of properties have several shortcomings and should be replaced by theory-based accounts that explain the coexistence of a set of properties in living beings. The concept of life should acquire its meaning from its relationships with other concepts inside a theory. I illustrate this view by discussing definitions of life in several biological theories: the synthetic theory of evolution, autopoiesis, Artificial Life, and biosemiotics.
Key words: Life, definitions, theory
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