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Life Discussion Questions

Question Description


1) What is life? Write your own definition about what first comes to mind. Write ca. 200 words (a minimum of 150 for full points). We will keep revisiting this definition throughout this course. For this first version of it, focus on your initial association. If you have additional associations, add them in a list. Perhaps you can also think of a saying/expression, a euphemism, or a song about life.

2) Think of an image that says “life” to you, find an approximate picture of it online, and upload it to the attached folder in D2L Discussions (see below) with your definition. Please note that plagiarism rules also apply to all the D2L posts, whether it's words or images, so always list your sources.

Q: Life Poll: How would you categorize your homework definition of life? There is no correct answer and multiple items can be chosen.

A. biological / scientific B. philosophical C. poetic/inspiring E. personal/individual F. Other

Q: And how would you categorize the image you selected? It shows something related to…


B. science

C. people and relationships(incl.pets)

D. special event

E. time and/or space

F.words (a quote) or a metaphor (as an image)

G. a challenge or success abstract concept or emotion, such as freedom, fun, love, etc.



1) Research the biological characteristics of life (sometimes also called characteristics of living things). You will find that there are varying definitions online: both the names of characteristics and their number vary (anywhere from six to ten). Watch out, some are even inaccurate, which some critical thinking will help you discover. Look at a minimum of five different sources (texts/videos) and compile your own list of seven characteristics with explanations. Which name mean the same thing? Which are only sub-categories of others? Which ones are not accurate (and why)? Post your list of seven with explanations and your five sources (formatted in proper bibliographic style–see the "useful stuff" folder for help) in the attached discussion folder (see below).

2) Watch the video and read Jabr's text linked below. Make notes about their content and the problems/questions they raise. Bring your notes and questions to class.

Jabr, Why Nothing Is Truly Alive (text & video)


Read the Plato/Descartes PDF. Follow the steps and links and post your notes and/or a picture of the marked-up text here.

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