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Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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What is life? Is death real?

6 minutes

What separates life from death? The line is fuzzier than we might expect

It’s easy to think that living stuff must be inherently different from non-living stuff, but is that really the case? Some of our greatest thinkers have explored the question, and the more we learn, the harder it is to conclude there’s anything special or distinct about ‘life’. What is Life? Is Death Real? is a clever animation that explores how viruses, artificial intelligence and the nature of DNA make drawing a line between the living and the non-living so difficult, and why we’re not likely to resolve the big questions about life any time soon.

Video by Kurzgesagt

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Biology
The minds of plants

From the memories of flowers to the sociability of trees, the cognitive capacities of our vegetal cousins are all around us

Laura Ruggles

Essay/Earth Science
Life goes deeper

The Earth is not a solid mass of rock: its hot, dark, fractured subsurface is home to weird and wonderful life forms

Gaetan Borgonie & Maggie Lau