Subject: About Living and Non-Living Things

About Living and Non-Living Things 1. Is a river a living thing? 2. Is soil a living thing? 3. Is smoke alive? 4. Are volcanoes alive? 5. Is the sun a living thing? 6. Are crystals living things? 7. Is wind a Living thing? Please help me understand why or why not they are living and non-living things.

    None of these things are living. As science defines it, to be living, a thing must be capable of growth, reproduction and metabolism. I'm pretty sure you know what growth is. Reproduction means being able to have offspring or otherwise duplicate oneself (like through cell splitting) and metabolism means to be able to extract energy from chemicals in order to sustain oneself. Using this definition, you should be able to say why none of the 7 things above are living.

Dr. Ken Rubin, Professor
Department of Geology and Geophysics
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822

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