What is Life?
You have learned the living things display nine specific characteristics:
- Respond to external stimuli
- Adapt to the environment
- Contain materials found only in living organisms
- Alter the environment
- Use energy
- Maintain a constant internal environment (homeostasis)
- Sense the environment
- Have a high degree of organization
These characteristics determine what something must have in order to be classified as biotic (alive) or abiotic (not alive). Please choose something inside your home and apply all nine criteria discussed in the Reading assignment to it. Write down the name of each criterion and then state whether or not your selected object fulfills it.
Be prepared to also discuss the following scenario:
- Gerald proudly displays his pet rock, complete with its cardboard cage in his bedroom. His sister, Marianne, has a Chia Pet® in her bedroom. The Chia Pet is a planter shaped like a puppy, with sprouts growing on the puppy planter’s back and head simulating fur.
- Using the nine characteristics of life listed in your unit Readings, prepare an argument supporting why one of the two pets is alive.
- Discuss how you would use the scientific method to prove that the one pet is NOT alive.
- Come prepared to discuss what counts as evidence in a scientific discussion.
Prepare an essay addressing the different questions listed above (in the synchronous Seminar section). The essay must be at least 400 words and written in your own words with citations, if appropriate.