Questions tagged [philosophy-of-biology]

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Where do morals come from? (Specifically someone who doesn't belive in God) [duplicate]

If someone doesn't believe in a God that gives Objective morals, where do they get their morals from? If life is this straightforward then no objective morality or even truth can be claimed. So why do ...
Timmy Fry's user avatar
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4 votes
10 answers
3k views

Is it possible that non-living systems possess consciousness?

This relates to the physical nature of matter, not to metaphysics. I cannot find a robust, universal definition of consciousness, so perhaps the question is meaningless. I am thinking of the behaviour ...
Meanach's user avatar
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4 answers
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A circularity in Richard Dawkins's book "The Blind Watchmaker" regarding a definition of life

I wanted to put this question in the biology stack exchange, but some of my questions there have been downvoted. In Richard Dawkins's book "The Blind Watchmaker", in the first chapter, says &...
user107952's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
177 views

Are the body parts of living beings, considered living beings?

Consider a living being, for example, us humans. The body of this living being is composed of various components such as heart, brain, kidney, etc. Now the question is whether these components ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How could we disprove the notion that society is a conscious entity?

Humans are made up of billions of cells. You and I are human, and we can perceive our existence. Cells and their consciousness can be debatable, but they indeed operate in a way that indicates they ...
Young Jun Lee's user avatar
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Are brains geometrically equivalent to three-dimensional Venn diagrams?

I had a coworker who was kind of obsessed with Christopher Langan's supposed "theory of everything," and one article of evidence he introduced was his thought that the way our eyes are ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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3 answers
107 views

Are humans still bipedal if a child is born without legs? [closed]

I am aware of a type philosophical argument that relies on a single counterexample to falsify an absolute statement: All swans are white. But here is a black swan. Your claim is false. But I have ...
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Robert Sapolsky ideas critics

I'm searching for critics of Robert Sapolsky "Behave". Could you recomend any materials? Thanks!
Alex Ilyin's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
73 views

If an animal is a member of a species, are its individual cells also members of the same species on their own? [closed]

Basically, my question is: which living structures does the biological taxonomy apply to? For example, do individual wolf cells have the same species status as the whole multicellular wolf? Is it ...
Slavus's user avatar
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3 votes
6 answers
253 views

The definition of life

The prevailing biology of the modern era describes life as a system. A system is defined a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network. The NASA definition of ...
Chanhyu Lee's user avatar
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3 answers
333 views

scientific inquiry of theory of evolution [closed]

In the context of scientific inquiry, the term prediction means "The logical consequences of a set of premises". Consider the following premises : Athena is taller than Zeno. Zeno is taller ...
quanity's user avatar
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What's the difference between teleology and teleonomy?

So, Teleology is According to the Cambridge Dictionary: the belief that everything has a special purpose or use According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: a doctrine (as in vitalism) that ends ...
Swike's user avatar
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7 answers
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Scientific stance on 'life from non-life, naturally'?

As far as I'm aware, almost everyone (from Dawkins to Lennox to Hovind) agrees that at some point in the past there was no life in our universe, and currently there is. Therefore life somehow arose ...
MarnixKlooster ReinstateMonica's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
61 views

Could neurodiversity factors affect individuals' ability to understand various specific abstract concepts?

Wittgenstein was a philosopher who arrived at several insightful questions (e.g. the private-language problem) but seemed to range from clueless to superstitious about transfinite set theory. Non-...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
135 views

When it may be said that a fetus is a living creature and thus has rights that may collide with his mother's rights?

I used to believe that every pregnant woman should have a right to undergo an abortion - but when contemplated over it I realized that I also think of situations where the fetus is no older than a few ...
Luna's user avatar
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2 answers
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"All there is are cells" as a philosophical school of thought

Like atomists since Demokrit and Lucretius believe that all matter is made out of atoms, biologists since Schleiden and Schwann believe that all living matter is made out of cells. But since atomism ...
Hans-Peter Stricker's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
276 views

The relationship between energy and information

I read that the Inuit consider the caribou and the wolf to be complimentary parts of an inclusive, larger entity. I am curious whether it is useful to view the relationship between energy and ...
Don Foster's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
138 views

If we had the ability to make humanity less war-like, should we? [closed]

Ok, this question is about both science and philosophy, but my focus is on the latter. Let’s assume that science and technology gave humanity the ability to „re-engineer“ itself on the genetic level. ...
BenTol's user avatar
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0 answers
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is there a theory of social 'vaccination' against destructive ideologies?

One can notice certain similarities between domains of biology, in which live organisms cope with viruses sociology, where societies cope with destructive ideologies Drawing an analogy, we can ...
IlliakaillI's user avatar
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4 answers
526 views

What's the difference between "life" and "non-life"?

How is "life" objectively defined?
ActualCry's user avatar
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Which evolutionary concepts or theories are used to either support or undermine 'perception of free will' as accurate?

NOTE: 'Free will' in this question describes an ability to have chosen otherwise, given the same circumstances. According to American Scientist, Darwin came to a belief that we had no free will 30 ...
Futilitarian's user avatar
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1 answer
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What are diversity partitioning and clustering analysis, applied to hominids & race? [closed]

Can anyone EMLI5 (or an undergrad) the terms diversity partitioning and clustering analysis please? From Winther paper over my head "The genetic reification of race" re: Lewontin-Edwards ...
kungfuhobbit's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
251 views

What does 'nature' mean in Darwin's Origin of Species?

Recently, I have been reading the Origin of Species and quite a few times Darwin says that nature selects. But it seems like he is personifying nature. Could we say that nature=reality for him? And ...
Eauriel's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Most important modern/contemporary essays on free will

I enjoy philosophising about free will and formulating arguments as to why it cannot exist. I would like to write about my arguments so that they are relevant in today's literature, and so, I want to ...
DavidSilverberg's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
123 views

Does many-worlds rule out trial and error?

Suppose that the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics were true. Would that rule out trial and error as something that actually happens in reality? Let's take biology as a case study. ...
Paul Razvan Berg's user avatar
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1 answer
92 views

Is Avatar Sexuality Likely to Persist in the Event of a Digitalised 'Humanity'? [closed]

The biological sexual act is vital to current human experience; it is one of our most powerful motivators and vital to the perpetuation of the species. Humans do not require a present physical partner ...
Futilitarian's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
219 views

How can one reconcile the physical view of life and the second law of thermodynamics?

Life appears to not follow the second law which states that (approximately speaking) physical systems tend towards more disorder (higher entropy). This appears to be not true with life which actively ...
J Li's user avatar
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1 answer
75 views

Why do people think binocular vision is advantageous in sports? [closed]

Why do people think binocular vision (visual depth perception) is advantageous in sports? Yes, it can be helpful, but what if binocular vision is an evolutionary dead end? Aren't there plenty of ...
Yukang Jiang's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
104 views

Differences in survivals [closed]

We, humans, claim that we survive diseases and dangers with the help of science/intelligence/brain. Intelligence and brain can be treated as something inside. Many creatures like cockroaches, ...
SonOfThought's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
266 views

Can animals follow logical rules of inference?

I've been trying to recall a thought experiment, which I very vaguely remember to have come across either in Davidson or Dennett, that considers the following scenario: A hound is chasing its quarry ...
alghazali's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
90 views

Definition of a "sense"

Besides the five basic senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch) there is also, for example, the sense of balance. While it may seem that this one is not really about perceiving the external world ...
present's user avatar
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3 answers
215 views

Do HeLa cells prove immortality?

Does modern science, especially HeLa cells, prove that immortality (in the classic sense) is real (for these cells) or possible in the future?
Quidam's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
229 views

How influential was "galvanism" on philosophy, and was it rightfully so?

I'm currently reading F. W. Schelling's "First Outline of a System of the Philosophy of Nature". Schelling, a late 18th-early 19th century philosopher, was very well-informed about contemporary ...
Yechiam Weiss's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
56 views

Is life a logical consequence of matter reacting to other matter within an endless reoccuring of ‘life-friendly’ natural conditions? [closed]

In other words, is life bound to originate in any environment that provides the life-supporting conditions over a longer period? Like temperatures, the tides (thus a tide regulating moon), a solid ...
Ajagar's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
200 views

Is Aristotle's "Animal Soul" the immune system?

According to Aristotle, the soul is the substantial form of the body. As such, it is the principle that unifies the various parts of the body and maintains this unity. The immune system also seems ...
Geremia's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
98 views

On Darwin's Deduction

The following is from Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Volume 1 [Cambridge University Press, digitally printed version 2009, p. 31.] The bearing of the three ...
blackened's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
115 views

Is Frankenstein's monster tantamount to positive proof in Science?

Specifically Biology presents some problems for me. For instance, now that we have Evolution we know what to look for. Thus we are bound to observe some adaptations, and over time even new species. ...
christo183's user avatar
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4 votes
9 answers
6k views

Where is the line drawn on cheating Darwin/genetics? How does one accept this? [closed]

It is stated that cosmetic surgery is cheating genetics if the end result is aimed at increasing one's physical attraction and thus ultimately affecting natural selection in this person's favor. But ...
Runner Ice's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

Did Charles Darwin say anything on why life was formed in the first place? [closed]

To be viewed from the perspective of epistemology and/or the philosophy of science. Preamble: Darwin, like scientists of his day, often spoke of “Laws” that inevitably cycle forth the results ...
Jayant's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
282 views

Dawkins' gene-centered view on personal identity

Looking at the following quote by Richard Dawkins: We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential ...
viuser's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
383 views

Is our "meaning of life" fundamentally different from that of other animals?

Whatever the "meaning of life" may be (I interpret "meaning" as "purpose" here) is for us, Homo Sapiens, do we assume the "meaning of life" for humans differs fundamentally from the "meaning of life" ...
Volker Siegel's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
325 views

What is the philosophical use of the noosphere?

I understand that lately the new concept coined by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin has gained some popularity, and it's definition (according to Wikipedia) is: The noosphere is the sphere of human ...
Yechiam Weiss's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
2k views

How does the idea of “biological imperative” relate to species and members of species?

I suspect a biological imperative describes something that every member of a species has to do or have to survive to keep the species going. If we talk about a biological imperative with respect to ...
Frank Hubeny's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
166 views

When should a human be declared dead?

This has a biological element to it, so I have also asked it on Biology SE, but there is an interesting philosophical element as well. What is it that makes us 'alive'? Our heart beat? Our brain ...
J. Tate's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
116 views

On which level of scientific disciplines can we effectively identify characteristics of life?

An egg is fertilized and begins to divide forming an embryo which continues to develop into a fetus. Beneath that level of development the egg is comprised of molecules which are in turn comprised of ...
John Notwen's user avatar
5 votes
11 answers
3k views

Philosophy and the question 'When is a robot considered alive and thinking?'

I originally posted this question in Robotics Stack Exchange, but it was deemed off-topic there and it was recommended I post here: I was watching a youtube video of a robot: https://www.youtube.com/...
mrnovice's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
336 views

Gaia and entelechy?

James Lovelock controversially proposed the Gaia hypothesis in the 1970s which outraged certain sensibilities because of its implicit teleology (I recall being outraged by it when I read about it ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
329 views

Does agency always imply choice?

I am a biologist but have strong interests in the most fundamental questions of Life, so I had to educate quite a bit on philosophy to be able to delve into them. One of the concepts I had to become ...
Yordan Yordanov's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
125 views

Descartes' views on species

What were Descartes' views on species? Did he ever say something about this subject? Was it more like the Aristotelian conception of immutable “groups” (without the metaphysical Aristotelian concept ...
viuser's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
112 views

What are the phylosophical implications of the definitions of life? [closed]

What are the philosophical implications of having life defined somehow? How can our worldview be affected by the definition of life we accept?
Coala's user avatar
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