What is living organism? Are there infinite possibilities of living things

I was thinking of lizard that reproduces alone it does not need any potential mate to reproduce. It literally break my assumption of basics of asexual reproduction. It was beyond my imagination but it was true.
And then I started thinking of basics of living organism like
Eating
Excreting
Reproducing
are they gonna break some time by discoveries in future.
Because of my bad thinking habit I almost think that “Is this all, have we fully defined living organism”
And other Question like
“What can be the life on another planet, will it be based on these basic pillar of living”
And later on this weird thought came in my mind which said"We cannot define the living organism ,our defination will always be wrong at some point as our data is limited,that’s why we are always suprised by the science"

So what is life can you define it? everyone’s weird imagination can be correct (not fully)in this world if not in world then in this universe so feel free to share. Cause in this world there is infinite data which later comes with infinite possibility

If I am wrong(offcourse I am) then please correct me.
Thank you

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Life is a difficult concept to define. The definitions that have been proposed number hundreds, and none is perfect. The most widely accepted definition of life would say that bacteria are life forms and viruses are not. And, as you hint at in your question, when we include potential alien life into the equation, that can only serve to complicate matters further. But it’s not just that nobody has yet succeeded in finding a universally applicable definition of life; it’s that such a universal definition does not and will not exist. As with so many human concepts, life doesn’t map cleanly onto a single precise scientific definition, and we just have to make do with working approximations, which may differ from field to field (like with the concept of a species). So, let me rephrase it: Life is not just a difficult concept to define but an impossible one.

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Are there infinite possibilities of living things? I’d say no. We can imagine a greater diversity of living things within the design space of life than what can actually evolve on our planet, based on the constraints built into all the lineages of organisms that currently exist or have existed. For example, we can imagine something like a griffin – a six-limbed vertebrate creature with four mammalian legs and a pair of bird wings – but there is really no evolutionary pathway for such a creature to arise.

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I was talking in this universe (extraterrestrial)

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There is cutoff between living and not living. Rocks are clearly not alive. Are viruses alive? Are prions alive? That’s all beyond my pay grade. As for alien life, even science fiction authors have a tough time coming up with what alien species might be like (at least the ones I have read). I suspect we are too constrained by ‘life’ on earth to accurately come up with something new. Larry Niven did come up with the life form called Starseeds, but he did not go into detail about how they actually exist.

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Still not infinite: there are a finite number of particles in the universe, hence a finite (although large) number of ways to arrange them, living or not.

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The living rock uses geological time. Weathers. Erodes. And eventually becomes rocks again.

When we built our first house, we had a huge sandstone rock outside the front door (a bit of Table Mountain sandstone) Our builder had strict instructions not to damage the rock. We came home from work one day to find a vivid red patch on the rock. Like a bloody oozing wound, or a bruise at least. What happened? Oh, had to whack a bit off to get the scaffolding up.

For a long long time that vivid red remained accusing. Not life as we know it, but still.

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Yes, many Indigenous cultures view everything as being part of the Creator, a concept of which I am quite fond of. I do, however, find it difficult to class a river or it’s bank as being alive, although both change through time.

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Not that it’s especially relevant to the conversation, but since you mentioned it.

Starseeds

Starseeds, also called Sailseeds, are large (thousands of meters[1], or approximately 1 mile in diameter) nonsentient species that travel through interstellar space. A starseed is typically spherical, but when it needs to change direction it unfolds itself into a large squarish solar photon sail[1] with the four corners connected via strands to a small knob. Most of the internal organs are located in a cross-shaped swelling in the sail. Nothing is really known about them, other than they seem to migrate from the galactic center to the rim of the Galaxy to eject their eggs, and then the chicks begin to travel back to the Galactic Core, a journey of 50000 LY.[1] Sometimes the eggs are ejected towards other galaxies, but most are left to hatch and migrate themselves to the core.

Starseeds are in fact packages of microorganisms designed to seed new planets with life, thus creating new customers for the Outsiders.[2] They are reluctant to reveal this information because they are ashamed, since one of their starseeds created the Thrintun, which destroyed nearly all intelligent life in the galaxy several billion years ago.

Pierson’s Puppeteers claimed to have a technology called “starseed lure” that can attract nearby starseeds to a specific solar system.[3]

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Yeah, those are different concepts of life, if we look at religious side and history of people’s views, it’s either a separate spirit in each river or souls of deceased that now inhabit other forms, so water just contains something alive in it, it’s not alive by itself, though if you’d take it you take part of this spirit with it. Plus one may argue that everything that is given a human name is alive.
Through geological point of view rivers undergo their life cycle, but it’s not a biological life.

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Recently there has been an effort to define life in terms of information. I have been reading the recent writing from physicist Paul Davies. https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/305448/the-demon-in-the-machine/9780141986401.html , As pointed out by others, life is hard to define, but I bet we share a pretty good agreement as to the living status of 95% of the things you can point to. Giving that, I would say there is a infinite number of possible life-forms but probably not an infinite number of general plans for life, that is there are constraints in physics and the chemistry of our world that limit the options for producing a thing that can defy the laws of entropy, evolve, and persist through generations.

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Ahh yes, and a well placed starseed lure was alleged to have given humans hyperdrive and defeat the Kzin. A fact that, when revealed, caused Speaker-to-animals to try and kill Nessus on ringworld!

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The textbook definition of life typically says something like the following (these characteristics were lifted from the web):

  • Organization. Living things are have an organized structure to perform a specific function. In particular, a living thing is made up of a single or a group of cell(s). A cell is the basic structural and functional unit of any organism.
  • Homeostasis. A life form would have an ability to keep up its existence, for instance, by regulating its internal environment to keep up a constant or favourable state.
  • Metabolism. A living thing would be capable of converting energy from chemicals into cellular components through anabolic reactions. It would also be capable of decomposing organic matter through catabolism.
  • Growth. A living thing grows, i.e. in size or in number.
  • Response. An organism has an ability to respond to stimuli or to its environment, usually through a series of metabolic reactions.
  • Reproduction. One of the hallmarks of life is the ability to reproduce, i.e. producing a new copy of its kind.
  • Adaptation. An organism is capable of changing through time to adapt to its environment.

Viruses don’t quite meet this definition although they rely on metabolic and homeostatic functions of the host to replicate. They may be derived from living organisms and rely on these organisms to persist but they are essentially parasitic genetic code.

I suspect even extraterrestrial life would follow these basic requirements, but of course we have no way to know that at present.

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There is an important distinction between possibility and actual existence. The finite number of particles in the universe does, of course, limit the variety of life forms actually in existence to a finite number, simply by virtue of limiting the number of individuals to a finite number.
But that’s not the same as limiting the number of possible types of life form, which is what I believe was being asked. A finite number of particles can still be potentially arranged in an infinite number of ways. Even just the hands of a clock can be arranged in an infinite number of configurations (if you measure the angles precisely enough).

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As we all know we are living and stone is non living we are connected by that stone with some link, let’s call it Mr link ,
Have we observed or any proof of existence of Mr link?
If answer of first question is yes then what are certain characteristics of that half living creature?

And Are living modified version of non living?
And where does virus comes in all this living -non living system?

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I’ve seen the description of a virus as a parasitic genetic code before in academic sources, but it seems a bit of a stretch to me to classify something non-living as parasitic. Some sources discuss viruses as living, but make the distinction that they are not, strictly speaking, organisms because they lack some of the features you describe. I’ve even heard some speakers that suggested viruses were alive in the context of the cellular environment, but were simply complex but non-living molecules outside of that environment. I tend to agree with the argument that they are alive and our definition of life needs further refinement, but it’s a debate that skews more philosophical than biological, so I wouldn’t pretend that anyone really knows the answer (and possibly can’t know with any confidence).

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Living things have to have a metabolism, and living thing have to have the ability to replicate themselves in some manner. But those two things can happen in a nearly infinite number of ways. The one inviolate character of all living things is that a living thing can die. Some living things die of natural causes, violence, or old age, but there are living things that don’t necessarily have to die; there are microorganisms that reproduce by division rather than die, and there is a jellyfish called the immortal jellyfish because it doesn’t apparently die. But all living things CAN die.

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