This is an excerpt from a 2002 issue of Science, from an article written by molecular biologist Daniel E. Koshland Jr. He must have had a nasty headache after he was asked to write an essay that would attempt to define life. It expands upon the seven characteristics of life we discussed today in class. It also touches on the Red Queen theory.
Try "google"ing "definition of life," and it is pretty amusing the number of sites that just defend the reason why they cannot, if fact, define life. Most wander down philosophical trains of thought and eventually get... well, nowhere.
This is my first CS class and I must say, I'm really looking forward to the rest of the year.
(Plus, this morning was the first time I have gone to class and sat in a nicely padded chair that swiveled... swiveled!)