Reclassifying Viruses as Living?

Robin Leech releech at TELUSPLANET.NET
Wed Feb 19 00:23:22 CST 2003

Hi Taxacomers,

If an "thing" can replicate itself by some means,
or if we can kill that "thing" by heat, pressure,
chemical or oher means, then surely we have
to classify that "thing" as a form of life?

Why do we have a problem doing this?  When
I was a beginning university student during the
last century, I recall that I was told, and I read,
that the one thing all living things have in common
is that they respond to irritation.  Could not death
and the ability to reproduce (replicate) be common
to all living things?

If this is so, then as a virus can replcate and die,
should it not be considered living?

Recall that we used to classify mammals first
as being placental or marsupial.  This was later
expanded to include the egg-laying montremes.

Thus, living things would be eukaryotic, prokaryotic
bacteria, archaea, and viral.

Sure a virus is dependent on organisms to host
them, but then so are parasites.

Robin Leech
and non-cellular.

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