Preprint Concept Paper Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

What Is Life? Are Viruses Living Entities?

Version 1 : Received: 28 August 2020 / Approved: 30 August 2020 / Online: 30 August 2020 (11:33:48 CEST)

How to cite: Gomez-Marquez, J. What Is Life? Are Viruses Living Entities?. Preprints 2020, 2020080661. Gomez-Marquez, J. What Is Life? Are Viruses Living Entities?. Preprints 2020, 2020080661.


What is life, what is the difference between something that is alive and something that is not, are viruses living beings, or what would life be like elsewhere in the universe, are questions that still do not have clear-cut answers fully accepted by the scientific community. Based on the fundamental attributes of all living things, I define life as a process that takes place in very ordered organic structures and is characterized by being automatic, interactive and evolutionary. I also define a living being as an organic, highly ordered, automatic, interacting and evolutionary system, and a robot as an ordered automatic and interacting system. Based on this definition and what we know about the biology of viruses, I maintain that they should be considered as living entities. Finally, I explain why if there were life elsewhere in the universe, it would be very similar to what we know on our planet.


life definition; living being definition; robot definition; living viruses; extraterrestrial life


Biology and Life Sciences, Virology

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