Purpose: When studying science, it is crucial to understand the process of scientific inquiry. In this discussion, we recall what makes science credible despite its uncertainty and apply our judgment to a recent assertion involving insects on another planet and the characteristics of life.
Post: Using complete sentences with correct spelling and grammar, write a response to each part of the discussion. The total word count for all parts should be no less than 300 words.
Part 1: It is not easy to describe what constitutes “life,” and scientists do not always agree on the characteristics of life. For example, the eTextbook lists eight characteristics, the “What is Biology” video (Video, “ What is Biology?” ) lists seven, and Professor Dave only lists four (Video, “Introduction to Biology: What is Life?” Professor Dave explains).
Using your own words, briefly describe the four characteristics of life Professor Dave mentions. Then, list and describe the additional characteristics discussed in the eTextbook and “What is Biology” video. If you can, add any other characteristics that you consider is common among all living things. With which list do you agree with more and why?
Part 2: Review these two videos: “Are Viruses Alive?” by Vincent Racaniello and, “Are Viruses Alive?” by D news.
Do you think a virus is alive? It what ways can a virus be considered alive? It what ways can a virus not be regarded as alive? How would you modify the characteristics of life listed in the eTextbook to allow viruses to be classified as living?
Part 3: According to the article, “NASA Photos Show Insect- and Reptile-Like Life Forms on Mars, Entomologist Says.” (2019, November 19). William Romoser claims Mars is currently supporting life based on what he argues are images of insects in photos taken by the Curiosity rover. If Martian insects are like Earth’s insects, what else would you expect to find on Mars (hint: think about what insects need to survive)? Do you think the images in the article are convincing? Why or why not?
Response (due Sunday by 11:59 pm CST): Reply to a classmate’s response in no less than 100 words. Did your classmate have any different opinions than you on Part 3 or Part 4?