In terminology, non-living, as opposed to living, is a defunct (Thims, 2009) conceptual-divide based term (see: defunct theory of life), which tends to assign things smaller than bacteria or viruses as being “different”, e.g. energetically, thermodynamically, chemically, or physically, than things bigger in size. The “living” / “non-living” divide is a chimera, in short; the divide is NOT found going up or down the molecular evolution table, or "great chain of being", as the ancients classified things. See: life terminology upgrades for correct term usages.

The following are related quotes:

“I do not quite agree with the observation that main problem I have presently in the work (and mindset) is the religious conflict; reason being ‘chemistry and physics do not recognize the word life’ (Sherrington, 1938). This reasoning however raises another conflict. Chemistry deals with materials and material sciences while physics deals with energy and the energetics of materials. Wedding chemistry with physics opens the dimensions of physical chemistry. The physical sciences claim that they are exact sciences but they are at best correlation with observations. For the present, I do not contest the above observation since more important for me is the application of the principles of exact sciences to non-exact sciences, which includes the application of physico-chemical principles of exact sciences on a molecular system to a living molecule. This is where the main conflict lies. The living molecule is bound to act differently from the non-living molecule and hence the behaviour of the human molecule is bound to be different from a humanized molecule that has been energized with a certain quantum of free energy. In sum, the behaviour of the energized human molecule is not likely to be exactly in accordance with the physico-chemical principles. There can be empirical correlations and this is what the work so far done has its emphasis on; it does not make tall claims; it only aims at reducing the empiricism in the first instance.”
Mirza Beg (2014), Beg-Thims dialogue (comment #4), Jul 6

See also
Non-living matter
Non-living thing

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