WHAT IS LIFE?
According to Tao, life to human is he is alive when the soul is in
his body. If the soul is not in his body, then the body is dead, just
like a corpse. The only difference between a living person and a
dead person is whether the soul is in the body or has left the body.
If a soul resides in a human body, then he is a human; if the soul
resides in the animal body, then it is an animal…..the soul is the
main source of life to give to the body.
Spiritually the soul never dies as it was never created or born, just like
God; no beginning and no end. When life takes form in the human
body, he has to go through sufferings and the four basic are birth,
old age, sickness and death. Because of suffering, human beings
cultivate and purify themselves so that their souls can be reborn in
an eternal happy state after death….Heaven. Below is a poem
“People rarely live up to a hundred years of age
Yet, they carry with them the worries of a thousand years
Within this chaotic and dazzling world, it is only due to ignorance
That people have created for themselves
Thousands and tens of thousands of attachments and worries
Like cycles within cycles and layers upon layers
These attachments and worries have firmly plugged their minds
So tightly plugged that one is nearly suffocated
So densely blocked that it becomes indissoluble
Their purpose in life have been totally sunk into a loss
And an illusion of the past, the present and the future
No time is ever spared to seek the real meaning of life
Hence, greed, anger, ignorance and desire come into being
Cause-Consequence and samsara come into being
And the endless floating and sinking of births and deaths come into being”
TA Chew Home page
The page below was created by Nasif Nahle, Biologist explaining
life from another angle other than spiritual.
What is life?
I do not have an express definition of life, but from direct and
indirect observations of the thermal state of the living structures,
we can give the next definition of life:
Life is a delay of the spontaneous diffusion or dispersion of the
internal energy of the biomolecules towards more potential microstates.
Life is the transfer of energy by the Proton Motive Force carried
out by some specialized molecules called ATP synthases bonded
to a biomembrane. Then, life is a state of the energy experienced
by a specific array of organic matter. The most important thing to
keep in mind is that, thanks to those oscillations in the electrochemical
field of a biomembrane, some thermodynamic systems are able to
delay the dispersion of their energy toward more potential microstates.
IMPORTANT NOTE: AN ENERGY CONFIGURATION IS A SET
OF PARAMETERS FROM WHICH AN OBSERVER CAN
RESTRUCTURE A LIST OF POSITIONS AND MOMENTUMS
OF ALL THE PARTICLES THAT CONTAINS A KNOWN
THERMODYNAMIC SYSTEM. A MICROSTATE IS A SET OF
POSITIONS AND MOMENTUMS OF ENERGY THAT COMPRISES
A THERMODYNAMIC SYSTEM. SO THEREFORE, LIFE IS NOT
“SOMETHING” ABSTRACT, BUT AN ENERGY STATE (A SET OF
POSITIONS AND MOVEMENTS OF THE ENERGY) THAT
ORGANIZES MATTER INTO AN ASSEMBLY ABLE OF
CAPTURING ENERGY FROM THE ENVIRONMENT FOR
DELAYING THE INCREASE OF ITS LOCAL ENTROPY.
BY SAYING THAT LIFE IS SOMETHING ABSTRACT IS
MERELY PSEUDOSCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY. (PLEASE,
READ BIOTIC FIELD)
IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE STOP A MINUTE TO EXPLAIN
SOME CONCEPTS INCLUDED IN MY DEFINITION OF LIFE:
LIFE CONSISTS OF INVERTING THE SECOND LAW OF
THERMODYNAMICS. BUT THAT KIND OF ALLEGATIONS
ARE ABSOLUTELY FALSE. THE SECOND LAW OF
THERMODYNAMICS REFERS THAT THE ENERGY ALWAYS
TRANSFERS FROM A SPACE OR SYSTEM WITH HIGH
DENSITIES OF ENERGY TOWARD OTHER SPACES OR
SYSTEMS WITH A SMALLER DENSITY OF ENERGY.
THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT OCCURS IN LIFE. THE
UNIVERSE WILL ALWAYS HAVE A HIGHER DENSITY
OF ENERGY THAN THAT OF BIOSYSTEMS. IF IT NOT
WERE THUS, LIFE WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE IN THE UNIVERSE.
THE CONFUSION SURGES WHEN WE SUBORDINATE TO
OUR CONSIDERATION THE PROPERTIES CORRELATED
WITH ENTROPY, FOR EXAMPLE, THE ORDER AND
COMPLEXITY OF A SYSTEM; HOWEVER, TO BE ORDERED,
OR TO BE COMPLEX, THE BIOSYSTEM SHOULD TRANSFER
DISORDER TOWARD THE UNIVERSE AND TAKE COMPLEXITY
FROM THE UNIVERSE. THUS, THERE IS NOT VIOLATION OR
REVERSION OF THE SECOND LAW. WHENEVER THE
BIOSYSTEM IS MORE DISORDERED, THE UNIVERSE AND
ITS DISORDER WILL BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE MOST
DISORDERED SYSTEM TOWARD THE LESS DISORDERED
SYSTEM, I.E., TO THE UNIVERSE.
WHAT OCCURS IN THE BIOSYSTEMS IS A DELAY IN THE
DIFFUSION OR DISPERSION OF THEIR INTERNAL ENERGY;
BUT THAT INTERNAL ENERGY IS NEVER TRANSFERRED
FROM A STRUCTURE WITH LOWER DENSITY OF ENERGY
TOWARD ANOTHER WITH A HIGHER DENSITY OF ENERGY,
WHICH REALLY WOULD BE A VIOLATION TO THE MANIFESTATION
OF THE ENTROPY. HOWEVER, NATURE DOES NOT WORK IN
2. STATE REFERS TO A POSITION, MOVEMENT AND DENSITY
OF THE ENERGY TRANSPORTED BY PARTICLES, HERE, OF
THOSE PARTICLES THAT DETERMINE THE FUNCTION OF
DISTRIBUTION OF THE ENERGY THROUGH INTERVALS OF
DEFERRAL OF THE DISPERSION OF THAT ENERGY IN A
BIOSYSTEM; FOR EXAMPLE, FERMIONS (PARTICLES WITH
AN INTRINSIC ANGULAR MOMENT WHICH SPIN IS EQUAL
TO AN ODD FRACTION (1/2, 3/2, 5/2, ETC.) BY WHICH THOSE
PARTICLES SUBMIT TO THE PAULI’S EXCLUSION PRINCIPLE,
THAT IS TO SAY THAT THOSE PARTICLES CANNOT OCCUPY
THE SAME QUANTUM STATE; FOR EXAMPLE, ELECTRONS,
QUARKS, LEPTONS, PROTONS, NEUTRONS, ETC.) AND
BOSONS (PARTICLES THAT HAVE AN ENTIRE SPIN [0, 1, 2, 3, ETC.]
BY WHICH THEY DO NOT OBEY THE PAULI’S EXCLUSION
PRINCIPLE AND CAN OCCUPY THE SAME QUANTUM STATE;
FOR EXAMPLE, PHOTONS, GLUONS, ETC.).
3. QUANTUM ENERGY IS THE SUM OF THE KINETIC AND
POTENTIAL ENERGY OF A PARTICLE, WHICH CAN BE A
FERMION OR A BOSON.
4. DENSITY OF ENERGY IS THE AMOUNT OF ENERGY STORED
IN A GIVEN SYSTEM OR IN A SPACE REGION BY UNIT OF
VOLUME OR MASS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE LIQUID HYDROGEN
STORES AN ENERGY DENSITY OF 120 MJoules/Kg. ONE
KILOGRAM OF GLUCOSE STORES 17 MJoules/Kg OF ENERGY
(4.01 nutritional Kcal/g).
5. A SPONTANEOUS PROCESS IS A PROCESS IN WHICH
THE FREE ENERGY ALWAYS IS DISPERSED TOWARD MORE
POTENTIAL MICROSTATES. AS A CONSEQUENCE OF IT,
WHEN TALKING ABOUT LIFE, BIOLOGISTS REFER TO A
NO-SPONTANEOUS OR AN AUTONOMOUS STATE.
THEREFORE, WHEN A SPONTANEOUS PROCESS OCCURS,
IT DOES NOT NEED THE INPUT OF ENERGY FROM THE
6. ENERGY IS UNDERSTOOD AS THE CAPABILITY TO DO
JOB. THEREFORE, ENERGY IS A FUNCTION OF THE
QUANTIFIABLE PROPERTIES OF ANY GIVEN SYSTEM.
7. THE INTERNAL ENERGY OF A SYSTEM IS THE ENERGY
ASSOCIATED TO THE MOLECULES MOVEMENT IN A
THERMODYNAMIC SYSTEM, TO BE PRECISE, TO THE
TEMPERATURE OF THAT SYSTEM. IN A TRANSFER OF
ENERGY, THE INTERNAL ENERGY IS THE ENERGY THAT
HAS PASSED THROUGH THE REAL OR IMAGINARY
BOUNDARIES OF A SYSTEM. IN A LIVING ORGANISM,
CELLS HAS CELL MEMBRANES OR CELL WALLS THAT
ARE THE REAL BOUNDARIES OF THE SYSTEM. INTO
EACH EUKARYOTE CELL, ORGANELLES -LIKE MITOCHONDRIA
AND CHLOROPLASTS- HAVE OUTER MEMBRANES THAT
CONSTITUTE THE REAL LIMITS OF THOSE THERMODYNAMIC
I HAVE AVOIDED MENTIONING THE WORDS “CHAOTICALLY”
AND “RANDOMLY” IN THE DEFINITION OF INTERNAL ENERGY
BECAUSE THE MOVEMENTS OF THE MOLECULES ADHERE
TO THE FUNDAMENTAL LAWS, WHICH ARE MATHEMATICAL
NOTIONS OF NATURAL PHENOMENA THAT CAN BE
EXPRESSED THROUGH FORMULAE; THEREFORE, THE
MOVEMENTS OF THE MOLECULES ARE NOT CHAOTIC
NEITHER RANDOMIZED. A MICROSCOPIC VARIATION IN
THE INITIAL CONDITIONS CAN RUN A GREAT CHANGE IN
THE TRAJECTORIES OF THE PARTICLES.
8. I ALSO ALLUDED TO THE CONCEPT “INTERVAL” IN MY
DEFINITION OF LIFE. INTERVAL IS A SUBSET OF STATES
SITUATED BETWEEN AN INITIAL AND A FINAL STATE.
9. THE ENERGY IN THE BIOTIC STATE IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO
BE QUANTIZED BY STUDYING THE TRAJECTORIES OF
FERMIONS AND/OR BOSONS FOR THE DURATION OF
TRANSFER AND STORAGE OF ENERGY AT ISOLATED
MAIN INTERVALS. FOR EXAMPLE, INVESTIGATING
PARTICLES AND WAVE-FUNCTIONS ONE BY ONE:
WHEN WE DEAL WITH PARTICLES THAT ARE THE
CONSTITUENTS OF MATTER, WE ONLY CAN STUDY
AN INDEPENDENT PARTICLE, POSITION, OR MOVEMENT
AT A GIVEN TIME; SIMILARLY, WHEN STUDYING THE
PROCESSES OF TRANSFER AND STORAGE OF THE
ENERGY WE CAN ONLY ANALYZE A SINGLE FUNCTION
AT A GIVEN TIME. WHEN WE COMPLETE THE STUDY OF
EACH PARTICLE AND EACH FUNCTION, WE INTEGRATE
THE WHOLE TO FORMULATE THE COMPLETE PROCESS;
FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN WE STUDY THE PROCESSES OF
TRANSQUANTUM THERMAL BIOTRANSFER (CELL
RESPIRATION AND PHOTOSYNTHESIS). (Please,
read the page on Biotic Field).
We are close to know how Earth was at their origins, we have a
well-structured setting, but when we try to reproduce it
experimentally we see that the theory is untrue. The uttermost
that we have achieved in our labs has been the recreation of
some lifeless structures called protobionts, microspheres or
Some Biologists have gone further by destroying a cell and then
placing all the cell material into an artificial environment, similar to
primitive Earth’s environment; but the results have been always an
inert mushy jumble. Others have killed a cell, but preserving the
fundamental cell structures. Latter, they have extracted the genetic
material from the dead cell and replaced it with the genetic material
from a yet living cell... again, the new cell remains dead. Other
biologists have destroyed many cells from which the genetic
material has been retired, then they have placed all the before-living
material into a flask and added the genetic material of living cells
from the same species… nothing, not a living cell have risen from
this salad. Others have added the whole muddle up into a flask
and then have submitted it to high voltage, radiation UV, hot
volcanic ash, heat, methane, etc., but there has not even
happened the emergence of a living cell.
What does it mean? Simply, it does mean that life is a factor
another than the structure and that life is “something” experienced
by very specialized structures that cannot be generated at any
laboratory, that life does not appear miraculously nor by miraculous
“events” and that life cannot be transferred, induced, or conferred to
specialized structures. We clearly see that life is “something” that
only can be preserved and continued by those structures that have
derived from other living structures (biogenesis).
Now you can see that it is not correct to use the term “life” when
referring to living beings. It is clear that, without living beings, life
could not be experienced, and vice versa, an organism cannot be
alive if it cannot state a set of intervals that delay the flow of its
internal entropy. A corpse is an inert being; it is an organic thing
and a thermodynamic system, but it is lifeless.
Another thing that we can perceive from the lines above is that life
happened in our Solar System as a once incident. We know that life
is a thermal state of specialized molecular array. In addition, we
know that life holds intimately to the route of time and, consequently,
to entropy and irreversibility. This cannot be a miracle, neither a
magic performance, but a natural phenomenon. Finally, we know that the
life was generated by the confluence of particles in the intersection
of two or more collaborating waves in a concrete field of energy.
From here, we can infer that life is an energy state of some kind
of specialized organic matter (thermodynamic biosystems).
Then, life is an energy state that occurs in specialized molecular
structures that obliges these macrostructures to obtain and operate
energy from their environment to maintain a maximum state of
no-equilibrium transferring available microstates towards their
environment, increasing the global number of possible microstates
in the Universe.
Life, as a quantum energy state, continues thanks to the replication
of the structures that exhibit it. Life is continued, not multiplied. Living
beings are what multiply. Life does not evolve, what evolve are the
The reason for their reluctance to change the semantics of life is that
a vast part of scientific documents, almost all the text books and all
the reports from Scientific Institutions would have to be modified
substantially, as well as the structure of Space Administrations that
seek for “life” on other worlds, when actually they are searching for
“living beings”. It is just a usual dilemma. Most academics do not
want to accept that life is a basic “function” (not a "thing"). They are
not ready to give the next step to recognize that they had not
"perceived it before”… that life has a scientific explanation.
ENERGY FIELDS AND BIOSYSTEMS
The meaning of Biotic Field is restricted exclusively to
which we already have demonstrated by means of
experimentation on the exercise of serious disciplines,
like Biophysics and Molecular Cell Biology. The concept
is like this:
Biotic Field is an Electrodynamic Field experienced by the
biomembranes of prokaryotic cells and the biomembranes
of the mitochondria and chloroplasts in eukaryotic cells,
which is due to the effects exerted by the fluctuations of
the Electromagnetic Field on in-motion electrically charged
particles (Electrons, Positrons and Protons) at such
Summarizing the previous concept: Biotic field is an
Electrodynamic Field experienced by the biomembranes
of prokaryotic cells and by the biomembranes of
mitochondria and chloroplasts of eukaryotic cells.
An Electrodynamic Field is any field generated by the
effects of the fluctuations of the Electromagnetic Fields
on in-motion charged particles. The term talks about the
effects of the fluctuations of the Electromagnetic Fields on
the behavior of electrically charged particles.
There are not such furtive particles, like "biotons", implied
in the life energy state. If this were the case, then “biotons”
would not be another thing but the same photons behaving
on an exceptional and unnatural way. Nevertheless, the
photons implied in the life energy state do not behave
differently from photons implied in all the known natural
processes. In addition, no particle implied in the life energy
state displays capricious behaviors: No particle implied in
the state of life displays an unusual behavior.
The term "field" in Classic Physics means: The exact amount
of energy so that some physical processes occur spontaneously,
which implies a potential for a physical phenomenon occurs.
Also, it is defined as the assignation of a quantity to each
point of the space; for example, the exact amount of energy
in a point of the gravity field, the amount of energy in a point
of the false void, the amount of energy in any point of an
electrodynamic field, the density of energy in any of the
fields of Higgs, the amount of energy assigned for the
ELECTROCHEMICAL GRADIENT in a space of a
The Biotic Field includes the amount, position, and
momentum of the energy used by a thermodynamic
biosystem when experiencing life. [Momentum is the
product of mass and velocity (p=m.v)].
Then, when I talk about the Biotic Field, I allude simply
o the exact amount of energy assigned to a given space
where life can be experienced by biosystems. Evidently,
the biotic field only applies to points in the Universe where
living beings can subsist. The subsistence of a biosystem
depends on the conditions at that point of the space and
on the molecular array of the own biosystem. When we
assign an amount of energy for an Electrochemical Gradient
to be formed we are applying the concepts of the “Truly New
Physics”. Now, we biologists have the benefit that we have
not to look for special particles acting on the Biotic Field.
Fortunately, Biologists know well what kind of particles are
implied in life. Perhaps, in the future we will discover how
pions, bosons, Higgs’ particles, and other particles behave
in the Biotic Field and we have a complete quantum theory
of life; in the meantime, we must adjust ourselves simply
o which it has been verified experimentally so far. Biology
has been constructed on a basis of strict realism.
In order to be alive, a thermodynamic system must
maintain a quasi-stable set of microstates in order that
it can delay the diffusion of its local energy towards more
available microstates at the Gravity Field (where all the
heat released through the transformations from one form
of energy into another form disperses to). From this fact,
you can distinguish that the Biotic Field exists as a unit
different, but not independent, from the Fundamental
Fields of nature, on this case, from the Gravity Field.
The amount of energy assigned to the Biotic Field is
not the same amount assigned to the Electromagnetic
Field of a conductor, etc.
Considering all the thermodynamic systems, from
Archaeobacteria to the mitochondria and chloroplasts
of the eukaryotic cells, the density of the energy
available for life, released by the passage of a proton
through a specialized biomembrane, varies from 5 to
12 kcal/mol. This amount of energy is enough to produce
an electrochemical gradient of 220 mV (0.22 V), which is
an Electrodynamic Field, or a Biotic Field, if we consider
that it occurs on a living system. One photon carries an
amount of energy near to 52 kcal/mol. Chlorophyll makes
use of 9.2 kcal/mol per each photon absorbed, which is the
amount of energy required for the shift of an electron to
one higher level of energy (chlorophyll requires of twelve
photons to produce one mole of Glucose). The lasting
42.8 kcal/mol from one photon are released to the
environment in the form of thermal energy (heat).
On the other hand, the mitochondria require an amount
of about 7.4 kcal/mol of energy to start up the
electrochemical machinery of life.
By definition, a Biotic Field is an Electrodynamic Field
which biomembranes experience. Electrodynamic Field is
any field produced by motion charged particles and by
changing Electromagnetic Fields. The concept refers to
the effects of the fluctuations of the Electromagnetic
Field on the behavior of motion electrically-charged
particles. There are not living beings where there is not
Biotic Field. For example, Mars has the characteristics
needed to give support to microorganisms, from the
extremophiles variety, which could face temperatures
under zero. The problem on Mars resides on both its
atmosphere and its soil, which have chemical substances
that impede the synthesis of biomolecules, therefore, it is
implausible the existence of living beings on Mars. To date,
we have not found on Mars the smallest indication on
thermodynamic systems that could be linked to the
Biotic Field. Ecologists know what I am referring to.
THE AMOUNT OF AVAILABLE ENERGY -ASSIGNED
TO A THREE DIMENSIONAL SPACE AT A GIVEN TIME-
USED BY LIVING BEINGS TO MAINTAIN ITS
THERMODYNAMIC AUTONOMY AND CONTAINED
BY LIGHT PHOTONS, IS A BIOTIC FIELD. THE
QUANTIFICATION OF THE INTERNAL ENERGY IN
THE BIOSYSTEMS WAS DEDUCED THANKS TO THE
QUANTUM PHYSICS, IT WAS CALCULATED BY MEANS
OF GIBBS’ EQUATIONS, MOLDED THROUGH THE GIBBS’
LAW AND EXPERIMENTALLY DEMONSTRATED BY
WHAT MAKES US TO BE ALIVE?
At the origin of life, a cloud of particles generated by our Sun
elapsed through an electromagnetic hole and each particle was
reemitted toward an assembly of waves in their point of cooperation.
The particles so attracted collided with all types of matter previously
ordered by the electromagnetic force through all the Solar System.
The collision between wave-particles and the ordinary matter
provoked different macrostates in correspondence with the
nature of the molecular arrangement of ordinary matter.
Some arrangements of matter constituted thermodynamic
systems which macrostates did not permit that the energy
state were maintained by themselves. This condition limited
the property of those systems to escape from the real increase
in the number of their available microstates, acquiring
spontaneously a thermal state of equilibrium.
Another specific organization of matter had a macrostate
in which the energy fluctuation could be maintained because
that system owned multiple inner structures that favored,
sequentially, the acquisition of photons that held transitorily
the continuum of the primary energy fluctuation.
This class of thermodynamic system, determined by the
electromagnetic field, acquired the capability of delaying the
increment of microstates that would take it to a thermal state
of equilibrium (succession of intervals in the spontaneous
flow of thermal equilibrium). Consequently, the energy state
prompted that thermodynamic system to capture photons for
retarding temporarily the spontaneous increment of local entropy
inherent to that system, increasing with it the global entropy of the
It is that energy fluctuation what makes us to be alive. As long as
living beings have the capacity of capturing photons that are able
of being reemitted toward the harmonic points of their corresponding
waves, we will be alive.
At the moment in which we were unable to retain that capacity,
life in us will stop, that is to say, the energy state will jump from
the living matter toward another not quantity of energy needed
for life of energy. The latter would not be possible if the energy
state were not subject to the Second Law of Thermodynamics,
therefore, upon dying the biosystem, its biotic energy state will
jump from a field of high density toward another low density field,
where -by the position and the nature of movements of the kinetic
energy- it would no longer prompt to other systems to set intervals
in the ordinary flow of thermal equilibrium.
Some people have dared me to define life without relating it to
weird "energy states". Well, this is an easier task than to relate
it to an energy state. Here it goes:
Life is the energy state in some thermodynamic systems that
compels them to establish a stable succession of no-spontaneous
intervals in the trajectory of diffusion or dispersion of energy.
TO LIVE OR NOT TO LIVE: THAT WAS THE QUESTION
The living thermodynamic systems maintain a cuasi-stable amount
of microstates that had to be increased spontaneously (change of
entropy), temporarily expanding the increase of their local entropy.
Nonliving thermodynamic systems also can maintain a limited number
of available microsystems. Nevertheless, in nonliving thermodynamic
systems there are not internal operators that carry out this action,
whereas the living systems have a series of processes in cascade
that operate from their internal system and maintain their quantum
energy state within a thermal no equilibrium. Let's determine if viruses
and Erythrocytes are living beings or not:
For example, viruses. Viruses are microscopic particles formed by a
chain of DNA or of RNA, wrapped by a capsule made of proteins or
Viruses lack of a cytosol, organelles, autonomous movements, they
do not eat, nor sleep, not carry out active exchanges of energy with
the environment, neither they carry out metabolic processes; they
only reproduce themselves and evolve under extremely concrete
conditions. These extremely concrete conditions occur only
when the viruses invade a living cell. If they are not in contact
with living cells, they cannot reproduce themselves, neither evolve.
Are viruses living beings or not?
No, viruses are not living beings, but organized particles that can
reproduce themselves only when are connected with a living being.
Viruses possess a genetic material with all the information necessary
to produce complete copies of them, but they can do this only when
they are in contact with living species. Otherwise, they cannot
reproduce themselves or evolve.
From here, we pertinently conclude that neither the DNA, neither
RNA, neither proteins are life because if it were so, then viruses
would be alive also when they were not invading a living organism.
(Please, read Biotic Field)
Erythrocytes, or red blood cells, are corpuscular elements of
chordates’ blood. The main function of erythrocytes is to contain
a protein that transports Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide called Hemoglobin.
The erythrocytes of mammalians cannot reproduce themselves,
they do not carry out other metabolic processes and they do not
contain genetic materials (neither DNA neither RNA). Erythrocytes
are produced from cells of the marrow called Myeloblasts, which lost
their genetic material when they reach a youthful step called Normoblast.
The life of an erythrocyte fluctuates between 90 and 120 days and
they should be destroyed when get old by phagocytes named
The cell membrane of the erythrocytes does not differ of the cell
membranes of other types of cells, but its cytosol has gelatinous
consistency. Are erythrocytes living cells or not?
It cannot die what already is dead. Erythrocytes are alive after they
have lost their genetic material and many of their organelles.
Erythrocytes die four months after they suffer the loss of their
genetic material. Then, life is not the organization of the organelles,
neither any of the molecules with the ability of reproducing themselves.
Yes, erythrocytes are living cells; therefore, differing from what we
thought some years ago, erythrocytes experience also the process
of programmed cell death, better known as apoptosis. Then yes, it is
unexpected that a cell without the so-called molecules of life can
live through almost four months.
From the previous examples, we infer that life does not reside
neither in DNA and RNA molecules, nor in autocatalytic proteins,
but that life is experienced by biomembranes.
From the previous examples, we infer that life is not the organization
of the system. Erythrocytes do not have a complex cell organization
as other cells of the organism have; however, erythrocytes are alive.
This obeys to the preservation of their cell membranes. Hence, it is
evident that life is an energy state experienced by biomembranes.
It is also evident that the molecules of nucleic acids are not living
molecules, although they have the fundamental function of
reproduction of the biosystems, the transmission of characteristics
from a biosystem to its progeny and the control of the metabolic
processes in biosystems
PROTON MOTIVE FORCE (PMF), THE TRACK OF LIFE
One of the most serious difficulties that we have faced in the
search of living beings out of Earth has been the recognition
of living beings similar to terrestrial organisms. Given that the
Physical Laws are the same everywhere in the known Universe,
and that all the matter contained by the known Universe is formed
by the same particles, we can assume precise methods for the
unmistakable recognition of non terrestrial living forms.
To be sure that anything found on other planets is or not a living
being, we could try to detect the Proton Motive Force (PMF). PMF
is a sequence of alterations in the membrane potential that happen
across the transference of energy, since it is captured until it is stored
in a complex molecule, for example, a molecule of Glucose.
PMF occurs when electrons are transported by ATP molecules
impelling to the protons to leap towards the membranes’ outer surface
of some cell organelles, as chloroplasts or mitochondria, or towards
the outer surface of the cell membranes in bacteria.
After some of my conferences on Exobiology, some persons have
asked for a plausible method for detecting the Proton Motive Force.
One of the easiest forms to recognize living beings on
extraterrestrial environments would reside on the detection
of Adenosine Monophosphate (AMP), Adenosine Diphosphate
(ADP), Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), Nicotinamide Adenine
Dinucleotide Phosphate (NADP), or NADPH by means of ultra-
finely tuned photometers built-in the robotic probes exploring
planetary soils. It would be obvious that any system possessing
those complex compounds would experience the PMF, and
consequently, that system would be alive.
Another way, still simpler than the previous one, would be by
producing bubbles of Oxygen in a viscous cell culture media
which had been enriched with soil of the explored planet. If that
soil were the habitat of aerobic bacteria, then these would
accumulate around the bubbles of Oxygen, which we could
monitor by means of a strategic and exhaustive microscopic
The dissipative thermodynamic systems are systems in a state
of no-equilibrium related to the phenomenon of a spontaneous
In this sense, organisms are dissipative thermodynamic systems,
the same as crystals, hurricanes, solar spots, the red spot of Jupiter,
chemical reaction clocks, etc.
The dissipative thermodynamic structures are thermodynamic
systems in a state of thermodynamic non-equilibrium in which
the instabilities can generate a coherent global behavior,
whenever certain parameters be maintained into the critical limits.
However, the energy fluctuation experimented by the dissipative
inert thermodynamic systems is not the same energy fluctuation
experimented by the dissipative living thermodynamic structures.
Where do we see the difference? The difference resides in the format
used by the dissipative thermodynamic systems for establishing a
series of intervals that block the increase of their local entropy. While
inert dissipative thermodynamic systems do it spontaneously, the
living dissipative thermodynamic systems do it autonomously.
Another difference is that, although the input of energy is
spontaneous for both classes of dissipative thermodynamic
systems, in inert dissipative thermodynamic systems it does not
take place a non-spontaneous post-manipulation of the energy,
while in the living dissipative thermodynamic systems occurs a
specific directionality in the transference of the energy which
permits that the energy be used for the preservation of a pattern
system from which more pattern systems will be generated. Like
this, the living dissipative thermodynamic systems give continuity
to the energy state that permits them to block temporarily the
diffusion or dispersion of their internal energy.
However, some inert dissipative thermodynamic systems can grow,
even other systems can grow and self-replicate, as if they were
living dissipative thermodynamic systems. We say that the inert
self-replicating dissipative thermodynamic systems experiment a
simple self-replicating pattern, while the living dissipative
thermodynamic systems experiment a complex self-replicating pattern.
From here, we could think that we would be able to differentiate,
with a higher precision, a living dissipative thermodynamic system
from an inert dissipative thermodynamic system. Then again,
complex self-replication pattern can occur in inert self-replicating
templates, for example in prions, viruses, autocatalytic proteins and
ribozymes, and all of these structures cannot be considered as living
dissipative thermodynamic systems because the post-manipulation
of the energy for self-replication occurs spontaneously, not
autonomously as it occurs in living dissipative thermodynamic
Subsequently, we conclude that the unique demonstrable difference
between living dissipative thermodynamic systems and inert dissipative
thermodynamic systems is the autonomy or the non-spontaneity in
the directional post-manipulation of the energy -which is captured
spontaneously by both kinds of dissipative thermodynamic
systems- experimented only by the living self-replicating