👓 Memento Mori: Learning about life, by knowing you will die | W. Ian O’Byrne

A nice little essay which includes the general practice among several schools of thought and cultures. Reminds me about some of the practices I’ve read about masons practicing.

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Richard Dawkins Interview: This Is My Vision Of “Life” | Edge.org

Bookmarked This Is My Vision Of "Life" by John Brockman (edge.org)
The Edge.org's interview with Richard Dawkins.

Richard Dawkins [4.30.15]

“My vision of life is that everything extends from replicators, which are in practice DNA molecules on this planet. The replicators reach out into the world to influence their own probability of being passed on. Mostly they don’t reach further than the individual body in which they sit, but that’s a matter of practice, not a matter of principle. The individual organism can be defined as that set of phenotypic products which have a single route of exit of the genes into the future. That’s not true of the cuckoo/reed warbler case, but it is true of ordinary animal bodies. So the organism, the individual organism, is a deeply salient unit. It’s a unit of selection in the sense that I call a “vehicle”.  There are two kinds of unit of selection. The difference is a semantic one. They’re both units of selection, but one is the replicator, and what it does is get itself copied. So more and more copies of itself go into the world. The other kind of unit is the vehicle. It doesn’t get itself copied. What it does is work to copy the replicators which have come down to it through the generations, and which it’s going to pass on to future generations. So we have this individual replicator dichotomy. They’re both units of selection, but in different senses. It’s important to understand that they are different senses.”

Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins

RICHARD DAWKINS is an evolutionary biologist; Emeritus Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science, Oxford; Author, The Selfish Gene; The Extended Phenotype; Climbing Mount Improbable; The God Delusion; An Appetite For Wonder; and (forthcoming) A Brief Candle In The Dark.

Watch the entire video interview and read the transcript at Edge.org.

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Christoph Adami: Finding Life We Can’t Imagine | TEDx

–via Ted.com
Adami’s work is along similar lines to some of my own research. This short video gives an intriguing look into some of the basics of how to define life so that one can recognize it when one sees it.

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