Is a virus alive, are we alive and quantum physics

in steemstem •  last year

I read a nice article in SteemIt titled "Are Viruses ..Alive?" (1)

It was a good article but, although the author tries to present the latest theories, at least latest in the biology field, I think we can go even deeper than just asking if a virus is alive or not and ask...

What is really life and why does it matter to classify something as alive or not alive?


A virus

Actually this image is fake, it is Computer Graphics like MOST of the pictures that we get shown about viruses.

This is a real micrograph from a T4 phage.


Humans have the need to abstract and simplify the problems we face so we can understand them. We can drill down in our generalizations from the universe, stars, planets, animals, plants, cells, proteins, enzymes, atoms, electrons, subatomic particles, quarks...

As Elon Musk defends (borrowed from Aristotle), we should stop reasoning by analogy (so stop comparing life as we "know" with other "beings" to decide if they are alive or not) and start reasoning by "first principles", that is to boil things down to the most fundamental truths.

So if we take ourselves humans, a dog, a bacteria, a virus, a protein, etc. and boil it down to the most fundamental truth we find out that we are all really made of quantums of energy and everything constructs from those quantums of energy: matter, electromagnetism, physics, subatomic particles, atoms, chemistry, molecules, enzymes, proteins, viruses, cells, bacteria, plants, animals, humans, planets, stars, the universe... God?

So, what is life

Life is nothing more, and nothing else, than quantums of energy interacting with other quantums of energy.

And so, what's the difference between a rock and a human?

To me, the difference is only the type of interaction that our quantums have, much more active and flexible than the interaction that the quantums of a rock have. We are made of exactly the same "substrate" than the rock, just that our quantums are organized in a different manner, a manner that provides the interaction of the quanta with special properties like self-consciousness and intelligence.

Removing the abstraction and simplification

As computing power advances, and maybe when practical quantum computers exist, I believe that we will be able to start breaking down the abstractions that we are forced to do with our very limited brain (in the sense of raw computing power) and generate simulations of how the universe really works using as the only building block a model of quantum energy.

Current quantum computer D-Wave at absolute zero temperature (almost)

The simulation will not have models or simplifications for electrons, protons, atoms, molecules, cells... nothing, the only building block would be quantum of energy and how they interact with each other, and only from that the quantum computer will "derive" the bigger associations of quanta like ourselves humans. We will understand from the quantum energy point of view what we really are without needing abstractions fabricated by humans.

This will open the door to understanding how exactly the universe works, it will be the final and greatest knowledge that we will achieve and maybe allowing us to fully understand the creation of the universe and not just the simplistic idea of the big-bang, because: what was before the big-bang and where it came from?

The Universe, Computer Graphic like all the images we have of it

If we manage to build and understand this simulation we could even get closer to know if there is a creator or not, and if there is, maybe to know Himself!

(1) https://steemit.com/steemstem/@mcfarhat/are-viruses-alive



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Hey! Your post looks really good but... I can't upvote. Why? You didn't credit your pictures.

If you correct this, the post will be even better!

Steemit is full of plagiarism, it's always important to credit your pictures and cite your sources, be it just to keep away the cheetah bot.

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Sorry, I'm still learnign steemit. By crediting you mean mentioning the origin of them? Are there any restrictions?

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Yes, say where they are from. And you can't just use any picture either, the copyright must allow you to use it for commercial purposes.

I recommend pixabay.com because the pictures there are free for use and you just need to say that you got them from there.

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Regarding the origins of time in your final question, the two most logical answers might be an infinity of expansions and collapses, or nothing at all. Which do you prefer?

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None of them ;)

because there would have been an initial start of that expansions and collapses so that is not an answer, it is just taking one single small step back to the big-bang. What is the "substance" that expands and collapses and from where it comes? That is the real answered question

Nothing at all is neither a logic answer, it is just a believe, a faith at the same level that saying that it was created by God.

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There need not be an initial start if time is infinite. We know matter can be created from pure energy thanks to Einstein, so there doesn't need to be any actual 'substance' for matter of the universe to be created, just expansion. If any one property can be infinite, Time seems like a good candidate to me!

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I was not talking about creating matter, to me (that I follow the quantum field's theory, not to be confused with quantum theory) matter is nothing more than external manifestations of stationary waves of energy. Everything is energy and matter and forces as, we think we know them, don't really exist.

But the question is, where that energy came from, how was created and who created it.

Again, if you say, from nowhere, no way and no one then you are giving a "religious" answer, just faith in the possibility of things coming from nowhere and that is not logic.

If you are interested to read about quantum field's theory, it explains everything that quantum theory and astronomers can't like what is dark matter and how is possible that "matter" can "appear" randomly from nowhere (something that has been scientifically proven).

Enjoy ;)

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These are all unanswerable questions, of course, but it is fun to speculate. It seems to me that believing energy needed a creator and creation event requires equally as much faith as believing in the infinite.

Energy, as we understand it today, cannot be created nor destroyed...so why does it need a beginning? It doesn't come from 'nowhere', but rather it always was.

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So we arrived to an agreement then I think, it is unanswerable to us right now and the two answers we have are just based in faith and not real science.

That is my fights always about these issues because many people believe that the answer from Steven Hopkins is just science and it is not, it is as much faith as beleiving in a creator.

I'm not supporting any of both answer not negating any of both, just pointing out that both are in fact religious answers.

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Absolutely! Opinions on unanswerable questions require some degree of faith. Though this doesn't mean that there is no evidence to support one argument or the other. You might enjoy this blog post on a similar concept.

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Thanks, I'll read it ;)