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

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter Sign up
Follow us on
Facebook
Like
Essay/
Physics
Going nowhere fast

After the success of the Standard Model, experiments have stopped answering to grand theories. Is particle physics in crisis?

Ben Allanach

Essay/
Space Exploration
What if ET is an AI?

After centuries searching for extraterrestrial life, we might find that first contact is not with organic creatures at all

Caleb Scharf