|Top: defunct theory of life theorists. Bottom: first page of 16 Mar 2009 JHT article "Life: a Defunct Scientific Theory?", by American chemical engineer Libb Thims, a summary of a letter, originally sent to Russian physical chemist Georgi Gladyshev (02 Jan 2009), introducing the newly concluded view that the theory of "life", particularly in the context of molecular evolution tables (and attempts to decide which rows have "life" and which do not), does not hold up in modern physical science; a reactionary response to heated discussions with (a) Gladyshev, and his 1978 hierarchical thermodynamics theory of life, (b) Indian chemical engineer DMR Sekhar, and his 2007 genopsych anti-entropy theory of life, and (c) American chemical engineer Ted Erikson's and his 2005 Planck-scale panpsychism (or panexperientialism) awareness theory of life (a panbioism theory). |
“There is no thing endowed with life.”
“Aristotle noted of life that its lower limit defies demarcation. The living and non-living, he thought, merge one in the other gradually. Today the very distinction between them is convention. That deletes ‘life’ as a scientific category; or, if you will, carries it down to embrace the atom. The vanishing point of life is lost.”
See main: Belief system (child)The following is an outline of the different “big question” coming into being stages of a typical child, up through adulthood, ending, supposedly, with Jean-Paul Satre’s Being and Nothingness and existentialism, according to the 2010 views of American economist Jeremy Rifkin.  The issue here is that before age 3-5 the average person, according to modern religio-mythology belief system classifications, is taught/told about where they come from according to the god/spirit/life force models—91 percent of Americans for instance believe in one of these life theory models—based Abrahamic/Brahmaic, aka Anunian theology rooted, belief system (below left), about which over 72 percent of the modern world adheres to, which does NOT corroborate with the modern physical science belief system (below right), according to which humans are 26-element "molecules" (human molecules), that were "synthesized" (not born), "reactive" (not alive), and in the end "analyzed" (do not die), as is the case for any other animate atomic geometry in the universe that comes into and out of "bound state" existence.
|French physician philosopher Jean Fernel, in his 1548 On the Hidden Causes of Things, seems to have been the first to question Aristotle’s assertion that the nature of “life” vs “death” is to be found in heat, or rather “innate heat”, supposed to be of a class above that or different in nature for the heat of fire.|
“The stone selenite holds the image of the moon even to her very phases. The magnet-stone points to the pole star. These are dead things, says Brutus, do living things likewise draw influences from the sky.”
“Did not Aristotle well and truly say, and leave it written for all posterity, that: ‘Heat is the condition of life’?”
|French materialist philosopher Denis Diderot grappled with what he called the “living point” issue, problem, or paradox in his 1769 D’Alembert’s Dream, via Platonic dialogue style.|
“Nothing at first, then a living point … Another living point attaches itself to this one, and then another—and from these successive conjoinings a single living unity results, for I am certainly a unity …. It’s certain that contact between two living molecules is something different from the contiguity of two inert masses … and this difference—what could it be? … a customary action and reaction … That way everything comes together to produce a sort of unity which exists only in an animal … My goodness, if this isn’t the truth, it’s really close to it.”
|In circa 1770, German polyintellect Johann Goethe began to search for a secret principle that would explain nature, whether “living or lifeless, animate or inanimate”, as he put it; by the time of his 1809 Elective Affinities, was vacillating on whether or not to attribute life/death properties and descriptions to chemicals, such as calcium carbonate (CaCO3) or sulfuric acid (H2SO4); as humans and human associations, in his view, are but larger time “metamorphosized” versions of smaller reactive chemicals.|
“I perceived something in nature (whether living or lifeless, animate or inanimate) that manifested itself only in contradictions and therefore could not be expressed in any concept, much less any word. It was not divine, for it seemed irrational; not human, for it had no intelligence; not diabolical, for it was beneficent; and not angelic, for it often betrayed malice. It was like chance, for it laced continuity, and like providence, for it suggested context. Everything that limits us seemed penetrable by it, and it appeared to dispose at will over the elements necessary to our existence, to contract time and expand space. It seemed only to accept the impossible and scornfully to reject the possible.”
“What we call limestone is more or less pure calcium oxide intimately united with a thin acid known to us in the gaseous state. If you put a piece of this limestone into dilute sulfuric acid, the latter will seize on the lime and join with it to form calcium sulfate, or gypsum; that thin gaseous acid, on the other hand escapes. Here there has occurred a separation and new combination, and one then feels justified even in employing the term ‘elective affinity’, because it really does look as if one relationship was preferred to another and chosen instead of it.”
“You ought yourself to see these creatures, which seem so dead, and which are yet so full of inward energy and force, at work before your eyes. You should observe them with a real personal interest. Now they seek each other out, attract each other, seize, crush, devour, destroy each other, and then suddenly reappear again out of their combinations, and come forward in fresh, renovated, unexpected form; thus you will comprehend how we attribute to them a sort of immortality—how we speak of them as having sense and understanding; because we feel our own senses to be insufficient to observe them adequately, and our reason too weak to follow them.”
“One has to have these entities before one’s eyes, and see how, although they appear lifeless, they are in fact perpetually ready to spring into activity; one has to watch sympathetically how they seek one another out, attract, seize, destroy, devour, consume one another, and they emerge again from this most intimate union in renewed, novel and unexpected shape: it is only then that one credits them with an eternal life, yes, with possessing mind and reason, because our own minds seem scarcely adequate to observing them properly and our understanding scarcely sufficient to comprehend them.”
|In 1874, Irish physicist John Tyndall dug into the "dead atoms" argument, by asking how sensation, thought, emotion can arise from "dead" carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus|
See main: Dead atomIn 1874, Irish physicist John Tyndall gave his infamous Belfast BAAS Address, wherein he rips away at the ‘dead atoms’ argument (i.e. how did life arise from dead atoms?)—often found used today (e.g. Christian de Quincey, 2002)—via Platonic dialogue using Greek atomic theorist Lucretius as one of the protagonists: 
“You are a Lucretian, and from the combination and separation of insensate atoms deduce all terrestrial things, including organic forms and their phenomena. Let me tell you, in the first instance, how far I am prepared to go with you. I admit that you can build crystalline forms out of this play of molecular force; that the diamond, amethyst, and snow-star are truly wonderful structures which are thus produced. I will go further and acknowledge that even a tree or flower might in this way be organized. Nay, if you can show me an animal without sensation, I will concede to you that it also might be put together by the suitable play of molecular force.
Thus far our way is clear; but now comes my difficulty. Your atoms are individually without sensation, much more are they without intelligence. May I ask you, then, to try your hand upon this problem? Take your dead hydrogen atoms, your dead oxygen atoms, your dead carbon atoms, your dead nitrogen atoms, your dead phosphorus atoms, and all the other atoms, dead as grains of shot, of which the brain is formed. Imagine them separate and sensationless, observe them running together and forming all imaginable combinations. This, as a purely mechanical process, is seeable by the mind. But can you see, or dream, or in any way imagine, how out of that mechanical act, and from these individually dead atoms, sensation, thought, and emotion are to arise?”
“We must not read into [living organisms] either a chemical retort or a soul: we must read into them what there is.”— Claude Bernard (c.1870)
“The metaphysical evolutive force by which we may characterize life is useless in science, because, existing apart from physical forces, it can exercise no influence upon them.”— Claude Bernard (1878), Experimental Science
|In 1885, English physicist Karl Pearson cleverly used the extrapolate down method to ridicule the assumption that humans have the properties of life and consciousness, which by continuity are supposed to have arisen from dead mechanism at or below the level of the cell, which results in the ‘absurd’ conclusion that matter is conscious.|
“But I fancy one of you objecting: This may be very true, but it neglects the fundamental distinction between matter and life, namely the phenomenon of consciousness. Very good, my dear sir, let us endeavour to analyse this phenomenon of consciousness, and see whether denying consciousness to matter may not be just as dogmatic as asserting that matter possesses it. Now let me ask you a question: Do you think I am a conscious being, and if so, why? The only answer you can give to that question will be agnostic. You really do not know whether I am conscious or not. Each individual ego can assert of itself that it is conscious, but to assert that that group of sensations which you term me is conscious, is an assumption, however reasonable it may appear. For you, sir, I and the rest of the external world are automata, pure bits of mechanism; it may be practically advisable for you to endow us with consciousness, but how can you prove it? You will reply: I see spontaneous actions on your part, similar to those I can produce myself. I am compelled by analogy to endow you with will and consciousness. Good! you argue by analogy that I have consciousness; you will doubtless grant it to the animal world; now you cannot break the chain of analogy anywhere till you have descended through the whole plant world to the simple cell, there you find apparently spontaneous motion and argue life—consciousness. Now I carry your argument a step further and tell you that I find in the ultimate atom of matter most complex phases of motion and capacity for influencing the motion of others. All these things are to me inexplicable. They appear spontaneous motion; ergo by analogy, dear sir, matter is conscious.
Now the only thing, which I am certain is conscious, is my own individual ego; I find nothing, however, more absurd in the assertion that matter is conscious, than in the assertion that the simple cell is conscious, or working upwards that you are conscious. They are all at present unproven assertions. That matter is conscious is no more nonsense than that life is mechanism; possibly some day, as the human intellect develops with the centuries, we may be able to show that one or other of these statements is true, or more probably that both are true.”
“There is no single sense impression which can be said to be that of life.”
“How, therefore, we must ask, is it possible for us to distinguish the living from the lifeless if we can describe both conceptually by the motion of inorganic corpuscles?”
“Those who believe that the organic has been developed from inorganic, that living has proceeded from dead ‘matter’ [dead matter], may then assert that there must be in matter ‘something-which-is-not-yet-life-but-which-may-develop-into-life’, and may fitly term this side of matter supermateriality.”
|In 1915, Serbian-born American electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, in his “How Cosmic Forces Shape Our Destines”, stated as a matter of fact that “there is no thing endowed with life”, and that all that exists is motion resulting from upset cosmic balances. Tesla, however, avers to an extent by attaching this to a panbioism conclusion.|
“Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance. There is no constellation or nebula, no sun or planet, in all the depths of limitless space, no passing wanderer of the starry heavens, that does not exercise some control over its destiny—not in the vague and delusive sense of astrology, but in the rigid and positive meaning of physical science.
More than this can be said. There is no thing endowed with life—from man, who is enslaving the elements, to the humblest creature—in all this world that does not sway it in turn. Whenever action is born from force, though it be infinitesimal, the cosmic balance is upset and universal motion result.
Herbert Spencer has interpreted life as a continuous adjustment to the environment, a definition of this inconceivably complex manifestation quite in accord with advanced scientific thought, but, perhaps, not broad enough to express our present views. With each step forward in the investigation of its laws and mysteries our conceptions of nature and its phases have been gaining in depth and breadth.
In the early stages of intellectual development man was conscious of but a small part of the macrocosm. He knew nothing of the wonders of the microscopic world, of the molecules composing it, of the atoms making up the molecules and of the dwindlingly small world of electrons within the atoms. To him life was synonymous with voluntary motion and action. A plant did not suggest to him what it does to us—that it lives and feels, fights for its existence, that it suffers and enjoys. Not only have we found this to be true, but we have ascertained that even matter called inorganic, believed to be dead, responds to irritants and gives unmistakable evidence of the presence of a living principle within.
Thus, everything that exists, organic or inorganic, animated or inert, is susceptible to stimulus from the outside. There is no gap between, no break of continuity, no special and distinguishing vital agent. The same law governs all matter, all the universe is alive. The momentous question of Spencer, "What is it that causes inorganic matter to run into organic forms!" has been answered. It is the sun's heat and light. Wherever they are there is life. Only in the boundless wastes of interstellar space, in the eternal darkness and cold, is animation suspended, and, possibly, at the temperature of absolute zero all matter may die.”
See main: Regarding DefinitionsIn 1925, Alfred Lotka, in his Elements of Physical Biology, set out to outline the subject of physical biology, namely of "physics" applied to ecological, zoological, and social systems, as opposed to biophysics, aka physiology, or physics inside of organism; and therein, in his opening chapter "Regarding Definitions", defined attempts to define life via physics as "jabberwocky" or fictional nonsense.
|In 1940, English physiologist Charles Sherrington (left) published his Man on His Nature, based his University of Edinburgh Gifford Lectures (1937-1938), wherein he vociferously, assiduously, and densely rips apart all of the various absurdities resulting when the numerous life-centric anthropomorphisms are carried down to the chemical level, where chemistry and physics rule. In 1966, English molecular geneticist Francis Crick (right), in his Of Molecules and Men, similar to Sherrington, grappled with the men arising from atoms and molecules issue, concluding that the term "alive" needs to be abandoned (see: life terminology upgrades).|
"Chemistry does not know the word life."
“Let us abandon the word ‘alive’.”
|One of Scottish moral philosopher Francis Macnab’s arrived at absurdities, i.e. that growing plants are neither alive nor dead, an intermediate view to the defunct theory of life, resulting from his 1818 attempt to reconcile religious theory (Biblical views) with modern science (fossil evidence, Copernican system, law of gravitation, atomic theory, chemistry, etc.).  |
§40. Between matter and mind, there is, as I have said, a perfect antithesis or contrast (§2-3). The first is passive, the second is active; the first is acted upon by general laws, the second acts by its own particular volition; the first is dead, the second is alive. But, between the animal spirit, and the inanimate clod, there is a middle state partaking of both. It is neither a passive, inert substance, nor is it an active living principle. The growing plant is not dead, neither is it alive. It has no volition, like the animal spirit, neither is it under the dominion of those general laws which operate upon inanimate matter. It possesses a kind of life or vitality, depending upon the influence of the sun, which seems, in a special manner, to rule over the vegetable kingdom, and inspire and quicken it. Accordingly, the sun may be said to the soul of the vegetable world. In his presence they live; in his absence they sleep, or die.§41. But though we can thus discern, by our outward senses, not only the organic bodies of vegetables, but also the glorious luminary which quickens them, we cannot thus discern the principle which quickens the organic bodies of animals: for every animal is quickened by a principle which belongs to itself, and has a will of its own. Its body, indeed, may be called a moveable vegetable, because it is an organic machine, exactly analogous to that of the vegetable. The difference lies here: that the vegetable organic machine is set a-going and kept in order by the sun; but the animal organic machine is set a-going and kept in order by a particular agent which inhabits it. This agent is its soul, or animal spirit, and belongs to the predicament of mind, or the right side of the scale (§39).
“[We pledge] to put in power this truth: no other forces than the common physical chemical ones are active within the organism. In those cases which cannot at the time be explained by these forces one has either to find a specific way or form of their action by means of physical mathematical method, or to assume new forces equal in dignity to the chemical physical forces inherent in matter, reducible to the force of attraction and repulsion.”
|An modified version of American illustrator Linda Hensley’s 2010 illustration of American nuclear physicist Philip Ugorowski’s description of the “nucleus as a jostling swarm of bees, and I happily absorbed his explanation of the orbiting electrons as more bees, or maybe gnats” (link) to illustrate the apparent (or non-apparent) absurdity of "dead atom" / "living molecule" (bee) divide, dichotomy, or dualism.|
“The force expended in setting a body in motion is carried by the body itself, and exists with it and in it, throughout the whole course of its motion. This force possessed by moving bodies is termed by mechanical philosophers vis viva, or living force. The term may be deemed by some inappropriate, inasmuch as there is no life, properly speaking, in question; but it is useful, in order to distinguish the moving force from that which is stationary in its character, as the force of gravity.”
“Organic character means that all matter has a soul—internal, active force conscious of itself—which directs its transformation. Some philosophers call this active principle ‘God’, I prefer to call it ‘natural energy’ or activity. The two laws of thermodynamics are the fundamental laws governing the universe.”
“Molecules and atoms are lifeless beings that never evolve.”
|Into the 1920s, the seemingly paradoxical question about how, where, or if, when scaling down the evolution ladder, one is stop referring to atoms and molecules via the confusing terminology "dead" or "alive", began to come to the fore, particularly in the works of William Patten (1920), Albert Mathews (1924), and Gilbert Lewis (1925), among others.|
“When we attempt to follow up these vital processes within the body, they break up into countless larger and smaller ones, mingling inextricably the living and the dead; into organs, cells, and molecules, each a system in itself, and yet interlocking with all the others in a common give and take, with merely nominal, or purely arbitrary boundaries between them, like different departments in one department store. And when the chemist, or biologist turns his sharpest scrutiny on the most vital fragments of life, the dead and the living appear not less mingled than before. Precisely what parts are ‘dead’ and what ‘alive’ does not appear. Only this is sure: what once was dead is now a part of life; and what was once a part of life, is now a part of things called ‘dead.’
“There is increasing reason to think that the whole of difference between living and dead matter is chemical: living matter has the capacity of transforming suitable other matter into something of the same chemical composition as itself.”
In 1947, English thermodynamicist Alfred Ubbelohde became the first to take a stab at the suggestion that, from a thermodynamic point of view, there are issues in attempting to differentiate or distinguish "simple forms of life" from "inanimate matter", as discussed in his 1947 chapter on "Life and Thermodynamics", in his book Time and Thermodynamics. At this point in his writing, however, he was still ambivalent on the issue, postulating to the effect that "living things" might be able to be explained in terms of their "disentropic behavior".  In the 1954 version of the same chapter, in Man and Energy, however, Ubbelohde opens to the decisive statement that:
"Animate matter is termed 'life' for short."This is a large step towards the view that the term life in all its uses must be replaced by the term "animate" or something equivalent (such as "reactive"), if the modern thinker is to be cogent with modern science.
“This is the sort of irrelevant-sounding question that seems minor at first, and the mind looks for a quick answer to dismiss it. It sounds like one of those hostile, ignorant questions some fundamentalist preacher might think up. But why do the fittest survive? Why does any life survive? It's illogical. It's self-contradictory that life should survive. If life is strictly a result of the physical and chemical forces of nature then why is life opposed to these same forces in its struggle to survive? Either life is with physical nature or it's against it. If it's with nature there's nothing to survive. If it's against physical nature then there must be something apart from the physical and chemical forces of nature that is motivating it to be against physical nature.”
Problem #8: Thermodynamics is often applied to the evolution of life-forms on earth. Critics have opposed such applications, arguing that thermodynamics only become applicable when, for example, and animal dies. Which side of this argument do you favor? Why?Comment: the very definition of life in distinction from lifeless existence seems capable of generating interminable argument. Perhaps the scale is continuous and divided into life and lifeless only by personal predilection. Where on such a continuous scale [see: evolution timeline; great chain of being; molecular evolution table] would thermodynamics cease to be relevant?
|The new 2011 textbook definition of a human as a "26-element energy/heat driven dynamic atomic structure",as found in Indian-born American mechanical engineers Kalyan Annamalai, Ishwar Puri, and Milind Jog’s Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics, based on American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims' 2002 calculation of the 26-element human molecular formula, |
Abstract: “The principles that govern the emergence of life from non-life remain a subject of intense debate.”
Article: “The nature of the driving force that led to the emergence of animate matter remains a subject of continuing debate and uncertainty.”
“This type of reasoning, in which small 4-element molecules, such as aspartic acid, a crystalline amino acid found especially in plants, are not alive, whereas 5-element molecules, such a RNA, are alive, is clearly ridiculous.”
|The 2005 online "molecular evolution table" (precursor to the scrolling 2008 evolution timeline), from which the defunct theory of life began to come into view: in other words, from the molecular formula point of view, it is difficult to decide which row of the table is "alive" or the first point of life, after which one is forced to migrate to one of four conclusions: (a) emergence (untenable), (b) panpsychism (untenable), or (c) "life principle" (puzzling), or (d) defunctness (tenable); the latter of which leads one into the modern view that what in olden days one would call "life" is simply a property of (primarily) the light-induced reactionary "animateness" of the carbon atom (the prime examples being the retinal molecule, walking molecule, etc.)||Excerpt from the 2007 Human Chemistry, chapter "Molecular Evolution", in which American chemical engineer Libb Thims first began to grapple with the defunct theory of life issue, namely illogical supposition that the first form of life was a small molecular entity such as RNA (a 5-element molecule) or a single-cell bacteria (a 15-element molecule), which leads to the absurd conclusion that the precursor molecules or reactant molecules that went into the synthesis of that first "living molecule" were either sort of alive or a dead molecule or something nonsensical to this effect. |
|On 2 Jan 2009, Thims' vents his new position, in argumentative stance, in opposition to primarily Russian physical chemist Georgi Gladyshev, and his view that "thermodynamics mandates life", that he now sees the term and concept of "life" to be an untenable position.||On 15 Jun 2009, the Hmolpedia "evolution" article is updated with the above hydrogen to human form change schematic: a snapshot look at the development of animate matter (chnopsological matter), from inanimate matter (elements of the periodic table), which shows that from the point of view of human molecular theory, i.e. that each structure—hydrogen molecule H2 to human molecule Mx—has as specific molecular formula, the search for the so-called “emergence” or origin of life, becomes a search for a philosopher’s stone: a mythological entity, and hence a fictional concept; a view arrived at by American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims during the years when he began molecular evolution tables (2005) and an online evolution timeline (2009), according to which, in the colloquial scientific view, the notion that in the step of the transition of about the “third arrow”, shown above, that something called “life” originated, emerged, or started, becomes an absurdity (particularly from the thermodynamical perspective): a view paramount to the conclusion that the hydrogen atom is alive, which is not the case as far as chemistry and physics are concerned—a conclusion discerned in 1938 by English physiologist Charles Sherrington.|
|The VedamsBooks.com advertisement, supposedly typed out by Indian chemical engineer DMR Sekhar, project head, for the 2010 The Philosophy of Evolution, showing the preface section with American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims' defunct theory of life position highlighted; although, to note, the actual chapter contribution by Thims does not touch on the details of this. || |
Thims puts the above crossed out "bio-" prefixed on the Hmolpedia homepage; along with Polish solid state physicist Michal Kurzynski’s 2006 opening chapter one, form his The Thermodynamic Theory Machinery of Life, wherein he vacillates the question of how to define biophysics, either as a type of experimental biology or the “physics of animate matter”, implying that biology is not the study of life (an undefined/mythology-based term), as we have been led to believe, but rather the study of animate matter, as would be the correct physical science perspective (as was outlined earlier by Alfred Ubbelohde, Man and Energy, 1954). 
“Let us abandon the word ‘alive’.”
— Francis Crick, Of Molecules and Men (1966) “[If] these terms [‘unit-mass of living matter’, ‘resultant of organic forces’, ‘continuity of organic substance’, etc.], biologists have adopted from physics, are used figuratively, we ought to find them re-defined.”
— Karl Pearson (1892), Grammar of Science 
|Thims begins to editorially make redaction rewrites and initiate restrictions on use of all bio-related terms and antonyms in JHT articles (see: life terminology upgrades) per classification as being perpetual motion theory terms (perpetual motion of the living kind and hence not acceptable to a thermodynamics journal.|
|American physicist Michael Brooks' popular science article-turned 2007 book 13 Things That Don't Make Sense, he devotes fifth biggest problem in science to the issue that the concept of "life", as a bag of chemicals, does "not making any sense". |
“Stop taking it for granted, and think for a moment about what sets the biological world apart from the world of nonliving matter. No scientist on earth can tell you the fundamental difference between these two states.”Brooks goes on to explain how every historical attempt do define life has ended in failure. Likewise, in his 2010 Moral Landscapes, American neuroscientist Sam Harris comments: 
“What do I mean by ‘dead’? Do I mean ‘dead’ with reference to specific goals? Well, if you must, yes—goals like respiration, energy metabolism, responsiveness to stimuli, etc. The definition of ‘life’ remains, to this day, difficult to pin down?”
See main: Unbridgeable gapThis new scientific perspective arises from the modern discernment of prolonged study of molecular evolution tables and timelines, that it is technically impossible to find a specific "spark day" (or rather spark second), in the contiguous chemical synthesis mechanism, on the evolution timeline, starting with hydrogen reactants H (13.7 billion years ago), stepping through a number of molecular species intermediates MI, and ending with modern human molecule products MH (200,000 years ago), at which it can technically be said that the chemical mechanism suddenly "came alive":
|(warm pond model)|
|Hydrogen atom||Hydrogen molecule||Human molecule|
| || |
| Not alive!|
No brain (thinking)
No free will!
Has a soul?
Has free will?
|The thinker who holds-fast to the ancient mythological doctrines of 'life', 'soul', 'consciousness', 'free will', 'choice', a 'brain', etc., will argue, to their grave, that, in some contrived-way or another, at one particular second in time, in the course of human evolution mechanism, that molecules, somehow, came to life, acquired souls, developed a free will, obtained the a state of consciousness, evolved the ability to think, among other now-defunct traits that do not apply to the hydrogen atom, nor to any other molecule, known in science.|
|(see correct formulations: animate chemistry, animate physics, animate thermodynamics)|
|Indian chemical engineer DMR Sekhar's 2010 response article "The Paradox of Life | Life: a Defunct Scientific Theory" article in which gives his "hot plate objection", wherein he attempts to say that humans (as molecules) are alive because humans will reactively jump of hot plates, whereas water molecules (dead), supposedly, won't. |
“The question of ‘self’ is a tough problem and modern scientists abandoned this question long back. One of my friends an American chemical engineer Libb Thims says that “life is a defunct scientific theory” in other words there is nothing called life. Honestly Libb’s position is the position of the present day science. I respect Libb for his honesty though I disagree with him.”
|Indian chemical engineer DMR Sekhar's 2010 "hot plate objection" thought experiment, according to which one water molecule (left) and human molecule (right) are placed on a hot plate, the heat is then turned on, and supposedly the person will "jump" off because he is "conscious" and "alive", whereas the water molecule will remain on the hot page, because it is "unconscious" and "dead", a misconstrued logic that Sekhar thinks disproves the defunct theory of life.|
"Let us consider an experiment where a jar of water and a conscious man were placed on two hot plates of two feet by two feet size and let us switch on the hot plates. What we will observe is that in the first case the jar remains on the hot plate and the water will become hot. In the second case the man will jump out of the hot plate trying to preserve himself and hence he is alive unlike the water molecules."
f(L) – f(D) = f(g)
|Australian engineer Vangelis Stamatopoulos' 15 Nov 2010 blog opinion on the defunct theory of life debate between Indian chemical engineer DMR Sekhar and American chemical engineer Libb Thims. |
“Atheism is often portrayed as being materialistic so when I came across a debate on life or life essence or life force or whatever you want to call it, I was immediately intrigued. Here were two engineers, one based in the US and the other in Jordan discussing the nature of life. The two "protagonists" are Libb Thims an American chemical engineer, electrical engineer, and thermodynamicist known for his work and research in the development of the newly emerging sciences of human chemistry, the study of reactions between human molecules, and human thermodynamics, the study of energy, work, and heat aspects of systems of human molecules and DMR Sekhar a Mineral Process Engineer at JPMC Ltd.”
“Thims argument, which makes a compelling argument for the materialist point of view - claiming that the concept of ‘life’ is a defunct theory, is very logical, rational and totally convincing argument indeed. When I first read it, it certainly made me think about my views and understanding of the experience of existence or consciousness (i.e. life?) that I began to doubt my understanding of it.”
“Next, I came across Sekhar's response (hot plate objection) to Thims' argument and I have to say that is just as compelling and maybe even a bit more so.”
A + B → Cwould, firstly, spontaneous occur owing to a free energy decease (Schrodinger's 1944 position), but somehow conclude that this was somehow a special or, we might say, magical reaction mechanism, not known to chemistry in which "dead" reactants became "alive" products, which is untenable and completely nonsensical. The central issue, as exemplified in Ubbelohde's attempt at a rational matter (unconscious) / non-rational matter (conscious), is a near-childlike reversion attempt to salvage olden days concepts connected to human or anthropocentric ideals of purpose and, in many cases, religious afterlife theories, most-often centered on the issue of free will or that a person chooses his or her own actions (the basis of morality), whereas, as atoms and molecules don't.
|Left: Belgian psychologist and scientific philosopher David Bossens’ 2012 Squidoo article “Life, a Defunct Concept?”, wherein he states his view that while the term “life” may in fact be defunct, the related term “biology” should still be retained, for utility sake, but redefined as the study of structures consisting of cells and genes.  Right: Bossens' 2013 book Debates of the Hmolpedians, wherein he discusses his newly-learned views on hmolscience, in regards to questions on the defunct theory of life, biology, free will, prediction, DNA, human molecular theory, among others. |
|American science journalist Ferris Jabr's 2013 musings on the animate nature between his cat and his brother's K'Nex roller coaster led him to the 2013 conclusion that "life" is something that does not exist; a view independently arrived at in 2009 by American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims, per similar reasons; and also concurred, in part, by those including: Francis Crick (1966) and Charles Sherrington (1938).|
“Recently, however, I had an epiphany that has forced me to rethink why I love living things so much and reexamine what life is, really. For as long as people have studied life they have struggled to define it. Even today, scientists have no satisfactory or universally accepted definition of life. While pondering this problem, I remembered my brother’s devotion to K’Nex roller coasters and my curiosity about the family cat.
Why do we think of the former as inanimate and the latter as alive? In the end, aren’t they both machines? Granted, a cat is an incredibly complex machine capable of amazing behaviors that a K’Nex set could probably never mimic. But on the most fundamental level, what is the difference between an inanimate machine and a living one? Do people, cats, plants and other creatures belong in one category and K’Nex, computers, stars and rocks in another? My conclusion: No. In fact, I decided, life does not actually exist.”
|Left: American plant physiologist Frank Thone's 1936 depiction and definition of a plant NOT is a living system (or vegetible life), but, using chemically-neutral terminology, as a "CHNOPS plus system".  Right: modern evolutionary-depicted examples of "CHNOPS plus" systems, monkeys upwards through humans, each comprised, elementally, in composition, using agreed upon neutral terminology, as: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur (CHNOPS), plus calcium, potassium, etc. up to vanadium, depending, reactive animate systems.|
See main: Life terminology upgradesIn 1966, English molecular biologist (chnopsologist) Francis Crick, in his Of Molecules and Men, delved into the question of neo-vitalism and gives his cogent view that: 
“Let us abandon the word ‘alive’.”
● Birth → Reaction start
● Life → Reaction existence
● Death → Reaction end
“Birth is the aggregation of atoms, death is their disaggregation or destruction of atomic composite, without anything being derived from nothing and nothing going into anything in the process.”— Leucippus (c.460BC), and or the analogous views of Empedocles and Anaxagoras, summarized by Giovanni Reale | 1987
“Life and death are more questions of mixture and separation.”— Empedocles (c.450BC), synopsis of views by James Furlong | 1906
“If failure attends all our efforts to obtain a generation of organisms from lifeless matter, it seems to me a thoroughly correct procedure to inquire whether there has ever been an origination of life, or whether it is not as old as matter, and whether its germs, borne from one world to another, have not been developed wherever they have found a favorable soil.”— Hermann Helmholtz (1874), “On the Use and Abuse of the Deductive Method in Physical Science” 
“The hypothesis of an actual beginning of life in time seems to be growing less and less fruitful with the advance of experiential knowledge.”— William Ritter (1909), “Life from the Biologist’s Standpoint” 
“The ‘energy’ of mechanics must not be confused with the ‘energy’ of ordinary parlance, nor is it excusable to imagine that a mechanical ‘live force’ is a force that is alive. If one would know the meaning of ‘entropy’ one had better glance at a treatise on thermodynamics.”— Vilfredo Pareto (1916), Treatise on General Sociology, Volume Four 
“Certain analogies of behavior are observed between the machine and the living organism, the problem as to whether the machine is alive or not is, for our purposes, semantic … if we use the word ‘life’ to cover all phenomena which locally swim upstream against the current of entropy, we are at liberty to do so; however, we shall then include many astronomical phenomena … it is my opinion, therefore, best to avoid all question-begging epithets such as ‘life’, ‘soul’, ‘vitalism’, and the like, and say merely that machines [and] human beings [are] pockets of decreasing entropy in a framework in which the large entropy tends to increase.”— Norbert Wiener (1950), The Human Uses of Human Beings 
“To say that life is nothing but a property of certain peculiar combinations of atoms is like saying that Shakespeare's Hamlet is nothing but a property of a peculiar combination of letters.”— Ernst Schumacher (1977), A Guide for the Perplexed (Ѻ)
“Physical chemistry [is] a mathematical language, and it is a large part of my evangelistic attitude to suppose that much of developmental biology will some day have to be [re-]written in much [of] the same language that physical chemists have been using for decades.”— Lionel Harrison (2008), The Shaping of Life 
“One of the most interesting topics [human molecule] I have ever had the pleasure to read. Going through it a second time, and looking forward to the third. [The Human Molecule] covers the most fundamental change in human knowledge since Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species , by presenting a theory that we are fundamentally molecules, and that the question of life itself is a fundamentally flawed one. Especially important is the carefully laid out historical narrative of how Thims came to his theory of the human as a molecule. Whether you ultimately agree with this work or not, it represents a paradigm shift in viewing our place in the world.”— Jeff Tuhtan (2011), Amazon book review 
“Part two is an original article produced for publication in the Journal of Human Thermodynamics. The peer reviewer Libb Thims highlighted concerns regarding the use of terms such as ‘soul’ and ‘life’ stating that these terms have no physical meaning in modern scientific publications. Although it is difficult for a working biologist (life scientist) such as this author to accept that the word life has no physical meaning, it is an important observation. Here, the word ‘soul’ is associated with ‘soulatrophicity’, which is intended to refer to the origin of life, but will be replaced with ‘fractional dimension’. The word ‘life’ will also be replaced by ‘self-aware organic accretion’ or similar associated with carbon and the other 25 elements.”— Mark Janes (2012), Mr Carbon Atom (pg.70)
“Origins: probably 4-5 yrs old, I believed that I came from some sort of light source, probably the sun. My first word was also "light". Life and death: I grew up in the country, so we had dead animals around all the time. Probably 6 or so before I thought about my own death as inevitable. Existence: I neglected this question until coming across your Human Molecule book at around age 30. I don't believe in the common sense notion of life. There does not seem to be any evidence that I am alive.”
— Jeff Tuhtan (2013), response to query on “big questions” recollections (see: belief system (children)) 
“At this juncture, I would like to express my opinion about many new big publications of Libb. I do not want to have any relation to the manifestly absurd notions about ‘non-existent theory of life’ and the widespread use of the term ‘molecule’.”— Georgi Gladyshev (2013), “Life as a Phenomenon” 
“This [are viruses alive] debate could take an entirely different route if you consider a letter published  in the Journal of Human Thermodynamics by Libb Thims in which he discussed the idea that a theory of life was in fact defunct. The point was made that we do not consider a single atom to be alive, nor two atoms, or three. He builds on this statement to say that ‘it should be very obvious that no matter how many atoms one adds to the argument that an atom or a structure made of two or more atoms cannot be alive’. This is a bold statement as it clearly implies that it is impossible to apply the idea of life to anything, even us. Nikola Tesla also outlined a ‘defunct theory of life’ in 1915 where he said that ‘There is no thing endowed withlife’. This is obviously a very pedantic way to look at the definition of life but a relevant viewpoint nonetheless. Is anything living, or nothing? Or everything?”— David Busse (2013), “Viruses: Living or Not?”, Dec 10 
|A 2011 symposium, Jun 17-19, at the Multimedia Institute, Zagreb, organized by Nathan Brown (UC Davis) and Petar Milat (MaMa), on the subject of addressing vitalism and antivitalism in contemporary philosophy, the synopsis of with is: |
“‘Life’ is the site of a formidable lacuna. There is no firmly established scientific account of its constitutive properties or the process of its genesis. Varieties of “vital materialism” prone to describing physical forces in terms of an inherent “life of things” have done little to clarify the problematic nature of the concept, and insofar as “life” functions as an empty signifier concealing an absence of theoretical coherence we might be better to have done with it.”
This symposium seems to be digging around is in the neighborhood the view of "life" as a defunct theory.