ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context : WhatIsLife?

Is fire alive?

The direction taken by many contemporary philosophers and their fellow travellers in the ArtificialLife community is leading to a definition of life that will include fires.

  • Varela's notion of AutoPoiesis - protecting your own boundaries. Fires protect themselves from their natural enemies : fire fighters. With walls of hot gas and blinding smoke.
  • StuartKauffman's notion of a living organism as "something that can both reproduce itself and do at least one thermodynamic work cycle."
  • Reproduce - fires release spores into the air, which will drift until landing in fertile (dry) woodland.
  • Metabolise - fires sure do metabolise.
  • Seek food - fires follow gradients of new material to be consumed.

So either :

  • a) fires are alive. Or
  • b) we need another definition of life if we are to exclude these YellowWolves.

I've somewhere read another interesting and simplistic definition of life, but I can't remember it exactly, it was something about a positive feedback loop controlling a negative feedback loop (the positive part is about spreading the species and the negative about the equiballance of each individual). –ZbigniewLukasiak

I wonder, if fires can be alive, can stars be alive too? Or some other giant interstellar phenomena that have self-sustaining, self-producing processes. (WarpLink) HellForStars

(WarpLink) ReinventingFire

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