Discussion World Forum  


Go Back   Discussion World Forum > Discussion Forums > Science

Science From your kid's science project to relativity, this is the place to discuss it.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #61  
Old Nov 10th 2011, 01:01 PM
Non Sequitur's Avatar
Non Sequitur Non Sequitur is offline
Official Forum Lutheran
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The Kingdom on the Left and the Right
Posts: 2,142
Default Re: Are plants life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickKIELCEPoland View Post
But I do believe that when people use the word 'life' in daily discourse, they are usually referring, in their minds, to something that plants don't have.
But since when is that authoritative? What people "have in their minds" is rarely the actually definition of a thing.
__________________
Lighten our darkness.
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old Nov 10th 2011, 02:10 PM
NickKIELCEPoland's Avatar
NickKIELCEPoland NickKIELCEPoland is offline
Globetrotter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 8,082
Default Re: Are plants life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
But since when is that authoritative? What people "have in their minds" is rarely the actually definition of a thing.
Well, I personally think that what people "have in their minds" does actually have a powerful claim to the title of a definition.
__________________
Europe
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old Nov 10th 2011, 02:19 PM
Donkey's Avatar
Donkey Donkey is offline
Official Forum Mascot
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 7,771
Default Re: Are plants life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickKIELCEPoland View Post
Well, I personally think that what people "have in their minds" does actually have a powerful claim to the title of a definition.
Yes. It is "a" definition. Specifically, in this case, it is the wrong definition.

Though I would give average folks a lot more credit than you would. Pretty much everybody knows that plants are living things.
__________________
"It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize."
Theodore Roosevelt
Reply With Quote
  #64  
Old Nov 10th 2011, 03:24 PM
NickKIELCEPoland's Avatar
NickKIELCEPoland NickKIELCEPoland is offline
Globetrotter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 8,082
Default Re: Are plants life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
Yes. It is "a" definition. Specifically, in this case, it is the wrong definition.

Though I would give average folks a lot more credit than you would. Pretty much everybody knows that plants are living things.
That's your opinion, 't'would be a dull forum were't not for diversity of opinion
__________________
Europe
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old Nov 10th 2011, 03:29 PM
pramjockey's Avatar
pramjockey pramjockey is offline
World Citizen
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 1,051
Default Re: Are plants life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickKIELCEPoland View Post
Well, I personally think that what people "have in their minds" does actually have a powerful claim to the title of a definition.
But to what end? "What people have in their minds" is often at a complete disconnect from anything resembling reality. People, regardless of nation, are woefully under-educated about the natural world around them. They think that whales are fish. They think that volcanoes are one or several gods getting angry. They think that the oceans are bottomless.

That a large group of people think something doesn't make it true.
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old Nov 10th 2011, 03:57 PM
NickKIELCEPoland's Avatar
NickKIELCEPoland NickKIELCEPoland is offline
Globetrotter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 8,082
Default Re: Are plants life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramjockey View Post
But to what end? "What people have in their minds" is often at a complete disconnect from anything resembling reality. People, regardless of nation, are woefully under-educated about the natural world around them. They think that whales are fish. They think that volcanoes are one or several gods getting angry. They think that the oceans are bottomless.

That a large group of people think something doesn't make it true.
Rather than quibble over the meaning of the word 'life' let's think rather about whether or not self-consciousness is the crowning glory of life. I say it is.
__________________
Europe
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old Nov 10th 2011, 04:46 PM
dilettante's Avatar
dilettante dilettante is offline
Moderator
Resident Historian
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 3,082
Default Re: Are plants life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramjockey View Post
But to what end? "What people have in their minds" is often at a complete disconnect from anything resembling reality. People, regardless of nation, are woefully under-educated about the natural world around them. They think that whales are fish. They think that volcanoes are one or several gods getting angry. They think that the oceans are bottomless.

That a large group of people think something doesn't make it true.
Well, really, when it comes to the definition of words, it kinda does...
I can't think of a higher authority for what a word means than the collective definition of the people who use it.

That is to say, if [almost] everyone uses a given word to mean X, and a dictionary states that it really means Y, then in my book it's the dictionary that's wrong (it probably needs to be updated).

That said, of course, I'm pretty sure the vast, vast, vast majority of people define "life" in such a way that it includes plants. A trickier possibility might be something like fire!
__________________
kyrie eleison
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old Nov 10th 2011, 04:52 PM
NickKIELCEPoland's Avatar
NickKIELCEPoland NickKIELCEPoland is offline
Globetrotter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 8,082
Default Re: Are plants life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Well, really, when it comes to the definition of words, it kinda does...
I can't think of a higher authority for what a word means than the collective definition of the people who use it.

That is to say, if [almost] everyone uses a given word to mean X, and a dictionary states that it really means Y, then in my book it's the dictionary that's wrong (it probably needs to be updated).

That said, of course, I'm pretty sure the vast, vast, vast majority of people define "life" in such a way that it includes plants. A trickier possibility might be something like fire!
dilletante, I agree with everything you say.
My own policy is that if a person is speaking their native language, then their definition of a given word, is as good a definition as any other.

However, with this particular 'life' debate, it's a slightly different situation, since most people agree that plants are life, but at the same time, I personally feel that when the word 'life' is used on a daily basis, it's normally about a certain something which doesn't really apply to plants. That's what I think anyway.

I also think that the word 'life' carries with it a certain specialness, which is only really prevalent among animals.

We see computers get more and more advanced, but we mock the idea that they can ever be anything like us. And the reason for that is quite simple - they lack self-consciousness, just like plants.
__________________
Europe
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old Nov 10th 2011, 05:39 PM
Donkey's Avatar
Donkey Donkey is offline
Official Forum Mascot
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 7,771
Default Re: Are plants life?

The title of this thread should be "Do plants have theory of mind."

Then the answer "no" would be more realistic. But then, mosquitos and cats don't really have ToM either.
__________________
"It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize."
Theodore Roosevelt
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old Nov 10th 2011, 06:27 PM
pramjockey's Avatar
pramjockey pramjockey is offline
World Citizen
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 1,051
Default Re: Are plants life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Well, really, when it comes to the definition of words, it kinda does...
I can't think of a higher authority for what a word means than the collective definition of the people who use it.

That is to say, if [almost] everyone uses a given word to mean X, and a dictionary states that it really means Y, then in my book it's the dictionary that's wrong (it probably needs to be updated).

That said, of course, I'm pretty sure the vast, vast, vast majority of people define "life" in such a way that it includes plants. A trickier possibility might be something like fire!
So, if the vast majority of people think that whales are fish, whales suddenly grow gills?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2008 - 2017, DiscussionWorldForum.com