Uploaded by Lauren Musetti

Definition of Life Mars

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_______________________An Introduction to "The Study of Life"
How does a bird fly? Why do plants need light? How does a tadpole turn
into a frog? Because the living world is all around us, human beings have
always been fascinated by questions like these. Centuries ago, people used
their imagination as much as their eyes to come up with some answers. To them,
the living world was a place of mystery. Stories of strange creatures from
distant lands gave rise to tales of dragons, unicorns, and monsters of the
seas. Closer to home, many people beleived that living things could appear
suddenly out of lifeless matter, or that some plants could turn into animals
and fly away.
Since those times, the science of life -called biolgy- has revealed much
about th eway things really live. Many of the world's most important
biologists have started out as amateur naturalists, equipped only wiht a great
interest in what makes living things "tick." They made their discoveries by
experiemtns and by careful observations, and this course is designed to help
you find out abou the living world in the same way.
However, how do we know whether something is living or not? Many of
us have our own definitions of what is living and what is not living, but are
these definitions the correct ones? Study the following case of Mfxp9.
Mfxp9 was sent to Earth by the Martian Governemt to find life forms.
While on Earth, Mfxp9 captured an automobile and brought it back to Mars.
Mfxp9 thought that it had found a good example of life on Earth. Now Mfxp9
is on trial for not carrying out its duties. The prosectuing lawyer says that
the car is not alive. Mfxp9's defense attorny claims that the car is alive
and is a good example of life on Earth. The following is what Mfxp9 said at
the trial:
"
I first found these life forms moving along a path in great numbers.
They were giving off measurable
amounts of obnoxious fumes as they moved. It was later determined that
the fumes were poisonous wastes.
They appeared to have a great deal of
energy. Some of them moved faster than 120 kilometers per hour. When
one of these life forms stopped or slowed down, all of the others
responded. They slowed down and gave off a
reddish light from the
back of themselves as a form of communication. Some made unusual honking
noises as well. Because of all of the energy their activity required, some
of them stopped to feed on a liquid substance at community feeding holes.
If they were not moving sufficiently they moved to community buildings were
they were tended by smaller life forms. After eating or being tended to,
these Earthlings became active again. These
creatures seemed more
active in the morning and in the evening, so I had to be sneaky in order to
capture one
alone.
Finally, I spotted one of these creatures alone. I lowered my
spacecraft to communicate with it, but the creature didn't respond. I
decided to take it prisoner and bring in back to Mars."
Your First Job:
You are the assistant defense attorney for this case. Make a good case
as to why Mfxp9 is not guilty. In other words, explain why the car that was
captured on Earth IS considered a living thing. Please include a clear
definition of life for the judge and the jury.
Your Second Job:
You are the assistant prosecuting attorney. Explain why the car that
was captured on Earth IS NOT considered a living thing. Please include a clear
definition of life for the judge and jury.
*****Followup: Mfxp9 later went back to Earth but was last reported having
trouble with its spaceship. It has been
reported that Mfxp9 crashed in
a section of the Earth known as the New Mexico Desert, in the Earth year of
1947 and was never heard from again. Roswell, New Mexico, to be precise
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