|Top: defunct theory of life theorists. Bottom: first page of 16 Mar 2009 JHT article "Life: a Defunct Scientific Theory?", by American chemical engineer Libb Thims, a summary of a letter, originally sent to Russian physical chemist Georgi Gladyshev (02 Jan 2009), introducing the newly concluded view that the theory of "life", particularly in the context of molecular evolution tables (and attempts to decide which rows have "life" and which do not), does not hold up in modern physical science; a reactionary response to heated discussions with (a) Gladyshev, and his 1978 hierarchical thermodynamics theory of life, (b) Indian chemical engineer DMR Sekhar, and his 2007 genopsych anti-entropy theory of life, and (c) American chemical engineer Ted Erikson's and his 2005 Planck-scale panpsychism (or panexperientialism) awareness theory of life (a panbioism theory). |
“There is no thing endowed with life.”
Pictorially, the defunct theory of life—similar, by comparison, to how Einstein in 1905 disabused the notion of 'ether', the medium in which electromagnetic waves were thought to be propagating, from physics—is the view that the "theory of life", from a physical science point of view, is defunct (something that does not exist), according to which the assertion that the hypothesized life-from-nonlife demarcation, gap, boundary, or emergence point or region, said to have occurred 3.85 billion years ago, does not exist:
Nor does the alternative panbioism "everything is alive" position hold, namely: the hydrogen atom is not alive nor sort of alive (which results from the so-called gradual emergence theory); whereas, correctly, what was previous considered “alive” or life is now understood as being but a powered animation-energy property of columns 14 and 15, respectively, of the periodic table (see: hmolscience periodic table), of heated gravitationally-bound systems, in the so-called habitable zone around stars, the latter chemical thermodynamics-based descriptions superseding and in fact supplanting the former, thus classifying the religio-mythology based "life theory" model as a defunct, non-tenable, specifically a non-chemical thermodynamically recognized paradigm, a "perpetual motion of the living kind" theory, in technical speak.
This discerning view was first grappled with cogently by French physician Jean Fernel (1548), Germans polyintellect Johann Goethe (1770-1809) and physicist Karl Pearson (1900), later by Englishman physiologist Charles Sherrington (1938) and geneticist Francis Crick (1966), and eventually classified, in full thermodynamics journal article format, as a “defunct” scientific theory by American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims in 2009.
In other words, the theory (theory of life) that something exists in the universe termed "life", and the related synonyms: living matter, living system, living being, alive, living thing, life force, life principle, living energy, living organism, living molecule, vegetable life, etc., and in particular the premise of a start second to the so-called "origin of life" second, are defunct and obsolete and the term "living" does not conform to modern physical science. The defunct classification was first enunciated by English physiologist Charles Sherrington, in his 1938/39 Man on His Nature lectures turned book, as follows: 
“Aristotle noted of life that its lower limit defies demarcation. The living and non-living, he thought, merge one in the other gradually. Today the very distinction between them is convention. That deletes ‘life’ as a scientific category; or, if you will, carries it down to embrace the atom. The vanishing point of life is lost.”
The section following the colon—namely “or, if you will, carries it down to embrace the atom—specifies the alternative to the defunct view, namely soft panbioism or emergence, which in underlying argument holds or rather admits that the hydrogen atoms is alive, which, in the keen words of Sherrington, is a ‘recital that trips along simple as a fairy tale.’
In the molecular evolution table and evolution timeline perspective, wherein each step in the evolution process is viewed as a specific step in the contiguous chemical reaction mechanism on going from the hydrogen atom to the human molecule (person), in the course of the dynamics of the universe, the view emerges that a moving molecule, however complex be its movement, retinal molecule (bending molecule), walking molecule (surface moving molecule), cell molecule (boundaried molecule), fish molecule (aquatic reactive turnover rate molecule), etc., must be discarded as an outdated and defunct scientific theory (a religious neoplasm carryover; generally derivative of the (Egyptian based) Ab-ra-ham-ic/B-ra-hma-ic creation myths: creation by divine breath or creation by clay theory, etc), which dominate underlying belief systems of near to ninety-percent of the world's mindsets.
Things we were taught as children
See main: Belief system (child)The following is an outline of the different “big question” coming into being stages of a typical child, up through adulthood, ending, supposedly, with Jean-Paul Satre’s Being and Nothingness and existentialism, according to the 2010 views of American economist Jeremy Rifkin.  The issue here is that before age 3-5 the average person, according to modern religio-mythology belief system classifications, is taught/told about where they come from according to the god/spirit/life force models—91 percent of Americans for instance believe in one of these life theory models—based Abrahamic/Brahmaic, aka Anunian theology rooted, belief system (below left), about which over 72 percent of the modern world adheres to, which does NOT corroborate with the modern physical science belief system (below right), according to which humans are 26-element "molecules" (human molecules), that were "synthesized" (not born), "reactive" (not alive), and in the end "analyzed" (do not die), as is the case for any other animate atomic geometry in the universe that comes into and out of "bound state" existence.
Greek standard model philosopher Empedocles, as summarized by Scottish engineer and comparative religions scholar James Forlong (1906), held that people were but comprised of four types of atoms, two forces, and that “and life and death are mere questions of mixture and separation.” 
|French physician philosopher Jean Fernel, in his 1548 On the Hidden Causes of Things, seems to have been the first to question Aristotle’s assertion that the nature of “life” vs “death” is to be found in heat, or rather “innate heat”, supposed to be of a class above that or different in nature for the heat of fire.|
Fernel | Aristotle on innate heat
In 1548, French physician philosopher Jean Fernel, in his On the Hidden Causes of Things, digs into Aristotle’s assertion that the solution to the what is life problem is to be found in or attributed to "heat" or innate heat, via a Platonic-style dialogue of sorts between the three fictional friends, Eudoxus, Brutus, and Philiatros, an example ripe and erudite dialogue of which is as follows:
“The stone selenite holds the image of the moon even to her very phases. The magnet-stone points to the pole star. These are dead things, says Brutus, do living things likewise draw influences from the sky.”
Here we see Fernel discussing so-called "dead things" in the pre electromagnetic field theory days, very impressive. Fernel, moreover, goes on to say:
“Did not Aristotle well and truly say, and leave it written for all posterity, that: ‘Heat is the condition of life’?”
Following this, however, Fernel lapses to the side of error, with his siding with Aristotle comments about how “innate heat is superior to elemental heat”, how “innate heat is not of the same nature as fire”, thereafter lapsing into vital heat dualism type of argument. Whatever error we may attribute to Fernel, at this period in history, we commend him for broaching the problem; for it was is proselyte Charles Sherrington, discussed below, who ripped the problem wide open, leaving no only the path forward available.
|French materialist philosopher Denis Diderot grappled with what he called the “living point” issue, problem, or paradox in his 1769 D’Alembert’s Dream, via Platonic dialogue style.|
In 1769, French materialist philosopher Denis Diderot penned is Platonic dialogue stylized D’Alembert’s Dream, in which the character D’Alembert, modeled on his associate French mathematician Jean D'Alembert (1717-1783), outlines material, atheistic view of the universe, and on the puzzle of the origin of life tries to reason how an animal can be constructed from the union of so-called dead or inert atoms and molecules to form that he calls ‘living points’ or ‘living molecules’ to then form what he calls a ‘living unity’, which is summarized as follows: 
“Nothing at first, then a living point … Another living point attaches itself to this one, and then another—and from these successive conjoinings a single living unity results, for I am certainly a unity …. It’s certain that contact between two living molecules is something different from the contiguity of two inert masses … and this difference—what could it be? … a customary action and reaction … That way everything comes together to produce a sort of unity which exists only in an animal … My goodness, if this isn’t the truth, it’s really close to it.”
Here, in modern retrospect terms, we see the same issue arising in the study and construction of molecular evolution tables (shown below), according to which the top row is the hydrogen atom (a bound state entity “not” considered to be alive) and in which successive descending rows are larger molecular structures “synthesized” from the hydrogen atom or its derivatives (the other 91 naturally-occurring elements), according to which one is forced into addressing the question as to what row one is assign as the first atomic life—after which, following introspection, one is forced to side with the defunct theory of life perspective and in its place the induced movement / animate perspective. In any event, the Diderot's dialog is fairly impressive for such a time period.
The view or conclusion that "life" is a defunct, i.e. untenable, concept is not a view one immediately is able to jump to—although we do see Diderot teetering close to this view in his "my goodness, if this isn’t the truth, it’s really close to it" comment. German polymath Johann Goethe was the first to actually venture down this road.
|In circa 1770, German polyintellect Johann Goethe began to search for a secret principle that would explain nature, whether “living or lifeless, animate or inanimate”, as he put it; by the time of his 1809 Elective Affinities, was vacillating on whether or not to attribute life/death properties and descriptions to chemicals, such as calcium carbonate (CaCO3) or sulfuric acid (H2SO4); as humans and human associations, in his view, are but larger time “metamorphosized” versions of smaller reactive chemicals.|
Goethe | Metamorphosis theory
In circa 1770, German polyintellect Johann Goethe grasped the following discerning view about the movements around him: 
“I perceived something in nature (whether living or lifeless, animate or inanimate) that manifested itself only in contradictions and therefore could not be expressed in any concept, much less any word. It was not divine, for it seemed irrational; not human, for it had no intelligence; not diabolical, for it was beneficent; and not angelic, for it often betrayed malice. It was like chance, for it laced continuity, and like providence, for it suggested context. Everything that limits us seemed penetrable by it, and it appeared to dispose at will over the elements necessary to our existence, to contract time and expand space. It seemed only to accept the impossible and scornfully to reject the possible.”
This being retrospect autobiographical comments on youth and his search for "secret principle" of the universe (see: timeline).
“What we call limestone is more or less pure calcium oxide intimately united with a thin acid known to us in the gaseous state. If you put a piece of this limestone into dilute sulfuric acid, the latter will seize on the lime and join with it to form calcium sulfate, or gypsum; that thin gaseous acid, on the other hand escapes. Here there has occurred a separation and new combination, and one then feels justified even in employing the term ‘elective affinity’, because it really does look as if one relationship was preferred to another and chosen instead of it.”
The modern chemical equation for the limestone sulfuric acid reaction is shown below; a video of reaction of calcium carbonate chips with sulfuric acid is shown to the right —which shows that in the course of 13-minutes, the “extent”, symbol ξ, pronounced xi or “zi”, starting from an initial 50 grams total of reactant remains, only 49.13 grams remain, measurable by the scale, meaning that 0.83 grams of carbon dioxide gas was produced as reaction product:
The Captain, elaborating on the above comparison of humans to chemicals and human relationship interactions to chemical reactions, continues (James Froude translation, 1854) onward in his discussion as follows:
“You ought yourself to see these creatures, which seem so dead, and which are yet so full of inward energy and force, at work before your eyes. You should observe them with a real personal interest. Now they seek each other out, attract each other, seize, crush, devour, destroy each other, and then suddenly reappear again out of their combinations, and come forward in fresh, renovated, unexpected form; thus you will comprehend how we attribute to them a sort of immortality—how we speak of them as having sense and understanding; because we feel our own senses to be insufficient to observe them adequately, and our reason too weak to follow them.”
Alternatively (Reginald Hollingdale translation, 1971):
“One has to have these entities before one’s eyes, and see how, although they appear lifeless, they are in fact perpetually ready to spring into activity; one has to watch sympathetically how they seek one another out, attract, seize, destroy, devour, consume one another, and they emerge again from this most intimate union in renewed, novel and unexpected shape: it is only then that one credits them with an eternal life, yes, with possessing mind and reason, because our own minds seem scarcely adequate to observing them properly and our understanding scarcely sufficient to comprehend them.”
Here we see Goethe, who founded the science of human chemistry with these bold statements, teetering on the defunct theory of life solution, albeit on the panpsychism (atoms have mind) / panbioism (atoms have life) / panexperientialism (atoms have sense and or experience) tentative side of the suppositional fence; similar to the way in which Libb Thims was indecisive on this issue, prior to the 2009 arrival at the defunct view—after which the correct view was seen to be the extrapolate up approach, rather than the extrapolate down view.
|In 1874, Irish physicist John Tyndall dug into the "dead atoms" argument, by asking how sensation, thought, emotion can arise from "dead" carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus|
See main: Dead atomIn 1874, Irish physicist John Tyndall gave his infamous Belfast BAAS Address, wherein he rips away at the ‘dead atoms’ argument (i.e. how did life arise from dead atoms?)—often found used today (e.g. Christian de Quincey, 2002)—via Platonic dialogue using Greek atomic theorist Lucretius as one of the protagonists: 
“You are a Lucretian, and from the combination and separation of insensate atoms deduce all terrestrial things, including organic forms and their phenomena. Let me tell you, in the first instance, how far I am prepared to go with you. I admit that you can build crystalline forms out of this play of molecular force; that the diamond, amethyst, and snow-star are truly wonderful structures which are thus produced. I will go further and acknowledge that even a tree or flower might in this way be organized. Nay, if you can show me an animal without sensation, I will concede to you that it also might be put together by the suitable play of molecular force.
Thus far our way is clear; but now comes my difficulty. Your atoms are individually without sensation, much more are they without intelligence. May I ask you, then, to try your hand upon this problem? Take your dead hydrogen atoms, your dead oxygen atoms, your dead carbon atoms, your dead nitrogen atoms, your dead phosphorus atoms, and all the other atoms, dead as grains of shot, of which the brain is formed. Imagine them separate and sensationless, observe them running together and forming all imaginable combinations. This, as a purely mechanical process, is seeable by the mind. But can you see, or dream, or in any way imagine, how out of that mechanical act, and from these individually dead atoms, sensation, thought, and emotion are to arise?”
Though difficult to see, at this point, the “dead atoms” concept is a forced contrivance a forcing of the religious-mythology view (life/death theory) into chemistry (atomic theory), of which the latter is hard science, the former mythology, primarily Egyptian mythology. Some, such as Goethe (above), approach the question, with inquisitive caution, and tend to side with physical chemistry (e.g. moral symbols); others, with human-grandeur ideals, may tend to slip into the "pan-views", i.e. panpsychism, panbioism, panexperientialism, etc., perspective, concluding that the hydrogen atom is alive, as is all the universe, or variants of this position. An example of the latter position is German polymath Gottfried Leibniz, who to rid himself of the problem of deriving life from death, displaced Greek atoms with his theory of “monads”, out the summation and integration of which he supposed all the phenomenon of life—sentient, intellectual, and emotional—to arise.
Bernard | Physiology
In circa 1870s, French physiologist Claude Bernard produced some ripe defunct theory of life like stylized physiology works; some representative quotes are as follows:
“We must not read into [living organisms] either a chemical retort or a soul: we must read into them what there is.”— Claude Bernard (c.1870)
“The metaphysical evolutive force by which we may characterize life is useless in science, because, existing apart from physical forces, it can exercise no influence upon them.”— Claude Bernard (1878), Experimental Science
On the subject of ‘life’, Bernard, according to American science historian Everett Mendelsohn (1964), gives discussions of how the term ‘life’ is nothing but a word which means ignorance, but a term nevertheless closely associated with heat.
|In 1885, English physicist Karl Pearson cleverly used the extrapolate down method to ridicule the assumption that humans have the properties of life and consciousness, which by continuity are supposed to have arisen from dead mechanism at or below the level of the cell, which results in the ‘absurd’ conclusion that matter is conscious.|
In 1885, English physicist philosopher Karl Pearson, in his "Matter and Soul" lecture (a physicalist reaction against English statesman William Gladstone’s creationism article), gives us the following very telling argument, wherein he puts the extrapolate down argument in the form of an Aunt Sally in regards to consciousness and life (as a mechanism), supposedly, arisen from "dead mechanism": 
“But I fancy one of you objecting: This may be very true, but it neglects the fundamental distinction between matter and life, namely the phenomenon of consciousness. Very good, my dear sir, let us endeavour to analyse this phenomenon of consciousness, and see whether denying consciousness to matter may not be just as dogmatic as asserting that matter possesses it. Now let me ask you a question: Do you think I am a conscious being, and if so, why? The only answer you can give to that question will be agnostic. You really do not know whether I am conscious or not. Each individual ego can assert of itself that it is conscious, but to assert that that group of sensations which you term me is conscious, is an assumption, however reasonable it may appear. For you, sir, I and the rest of the external world are automata, pure bits of mechanism; it may be practically advisable for you to endow us with consciousness, but how can you prove it? You will reply: I see spontaneous actions on your part, similar to those I can produce myself. I am compelled by analogy to endow you with will and consciousness. Good! you argue by analogy that I have consciousness; you will doubtless grant it to the animal world; now you cannot break the chain of analogy anywhere till you have descended through the whole plant world to the simple cell, there you find apparently spontaneous motion and argue life—consciousness. Now I carry your argument a step further and tell you that I find in the ultimate atom of matter most complex phases of motion and capacity for influencing the motion of others. All these things are to me inexplicable. They appear spontaneous motion; ergo by analogy, dear sir, matter is conscious.
Now the only thing, which I am certain is conscious, is my own individual ego; I find nothing, however, more absurd in the assertion that matter is conscious, than in the assertion that the simple cell is conscious, or working upwards that you are conscious. They are all at present unproven assertions. That matter is conscious is no more nonsense than that life is mechanism; possibly some day, as the human intellect develops with the centuries, we may be able to show that one or other of these statements is true, or more probably that both are true.”
This is excellent discernment indeed, particularly for a 28-year old. Here, Pearson sets up the Aunt Sally, in regards to which statement is true, for some ‘intellect’ in the coming centuries to knock down, an act that would not occur until some 124-years later (Libb Thims, 2009). Here we may recall the circa 1932 comment by Albert Einstein (see: Einstein-Murphy dialogue), who, as noted below, read Pearson, that attributing something like free will to the routine processes of organic nature is “not merely nonsense. It is objectionable nonsense.”
In 1900, Pearson, in his Einstein-recommended (see: Olympia Academy) Grammar of Science, penned two chapters on the numerous inconsistencies resulting from the collision of physical science with biological science; to cite a few excerpts: 
“There is no single sense impression which can be said to be that of life.”
“How, therefore, we must ask, is it possible for us to distinguish the living from the lifeless if we can describe both conceptually by the motion of inorganic corpuscles?”
“Those who believe that the organic has been developed from inorganic, that living has proceeded from dead ‘matter’ [dead matter], may then assert that there must be in matter ‘something-which-is-not-yet-life-but-which-may-develop-into-life’, and may fitly term this side of matter supermateriality.”
Pearson, in short, goes fairly deep into the problem, nearing the point of solution.
|In 1915, Serbian-born American electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, in his “How Cosmic Forces Shape Our Destines”, stated as a matter of fact that “there is no thing endowed with life”, and that all that exists is motion resulting from upset cosmic balances. Tesla, however, avers to an extent by attaching this to a panbioism conclusion.|
Tesla's forces view
Serbian-born American electrical engineer Nikola Tesla’s views are very similar to those of German polymath Johann Goethe, being that Tesla read the philosophy of Goethe (see: Goethean philosophy) to the exclusion of all other philosophies. The following is the famous opening section from Tesla’s 1915 New York American article “How Cosmic Forces Shape Our Destines”, which extols a mixture of the defunct theory of life and the panbioism perspective, i.e. the everything is alive point of view, to some extent: 
“Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance. There is no constellation or nebula, no sun or planet, in all the depths of limitless space, no passing wanderer of the starry heavens, that does not exercise some control over its destiny—not in the vague and delusive sense of astrology, but in the rigid and positive meaning of physical science.
More than this can be said. There is no thing endowed with life—from man, who is enslaving the elements, to the humblest creature—in all this world that does not sway it in turn. Whenever action is born from force, though it be infinitesimal, the cosmic balance is upset and universal motion result.
Herbert Spencer has interpreted life as a continuous adjustment to the environment, a definition of this inconceivably complex manifestation quite in accord with advanced scientific thought, but, perhaps, not broad enough to express our present views. With each step forward in the investigation of its laws and mysteries our conceptions of nature and its phases have been gaining in depth and breadth.
In the early stages of intellectual development man was conscious of but a small part of the macrocosm. He knew nothing of the wonders of the microscopic world, of the molecules composing it, of the atoms making up the molecules and of the dwindlingly small world of electrons within the atoms. To him life was synonymous with voluntary motion and action. A plant did not suggest to him what it does to us—that it lives and feels, fights for its existence, that it suffers and enjoys. Not only have we found this to be true, but we have ascertained that even matter called inorganic, believed to be dead, responds to irritants and gives unmistakable evidence of the presence of a living principle within.
Thus, everything that exists, organic or inorganic, animated or inert, is susceptible to stimulus from the outside. There is no gap between, no break of continuity, no special and distinguishing vital agent. The same law governs all matter, all the universe is alive. The momentous question of Spencer, "What is it that causes inorganic matter to run into organic forms!" has been answered. It is the sun's heat and light. Wherever they are there is life. Only in the boundless wastes of interstellar space, in the eternal darkness and cold, is animation suspended, and, possibly, at the temperature of absolute zero all matter may die.”
The first two paragraphs, of this opening article section, corroborate with the now confirmed and accepted 2009 defunct theory of life, i.e. that life is something that does not exist. Very deep insight indeed. In the last paragraph we see Tesla: conclude that the unbridgeable gap model is bunk (correct), that vitalism is bunk (correct), that the same law (thermodynamics) governs all matter (correct), discuss the heat death theory (seems cogent), and attempt to give his solution to the Spencer-version of the great problem of natural philosophy (close). In the last of these, however, his mention that "all the universe is alive" (incorrect) is one step away from the rigid physical science defunct view of life, namely that correctly "nothing in the universe is alive" (correct). When one first delves into the matter, such as via descent down to smaller scales, e.g. as viewed on the molecular evolution table or evolution timeline, the first possibility that comes to mind, knowing that atoms and nucleons are teeming with movement and activity, is to conclude that "all is alive" in some sense of the matter. This view, however, does not hold water in the long run after which one concludes that the "all is alive" possibility is an anthropomorphism and that correctly what is needed is a deanthropomorphism.
Lotka | Regarding definitions
See main: Regarding DefinitionsIn 1925, Alfred Lotka, in his Elements of Physical Biology, set out to outline the subject of physical biology, namely of "physics" applied to ecological, zoological, and social systems, as opposed to biophysics, aka physiology, or physics inside of organism; and therein, in his opening chapter "Regarding Definitions", defined attempts to define life via physics as "jabberwocky" or fictional nonsense.
|In 1940, English physiologist Charles Sherrington (left) published his Man on His Nature, based his University of Edinburgh Gifford Lectures (1937-1938), wherein he vociferously, assiduously, and densely rips apart all of the various absurdities resulting when the numerous life-centric anthropomorphisms are carried down to the chemical level, where chemistry and physics rule. In 1966, English molecular geneticist Francis Crick (right), in his Of Molecules and Men, similar to Sherrington, grappled with the men arising from atoms and molecules issue, concluding that the term "alive" needs to be abandoned (see: life terminology upgrades).|
In 1937-38, English physiologist Charles Sherrington, in his Edinburgh University Gifford Lectures turned book Man on His Nature (1940), in his lecture/chapter three "Life in Little", seems to have been the first to dig into the issues and irreconcilabilities with the term life in the modern general chemical-physics-thermodynamics perspective:
"Chemistry does not know the word life."
A full read of the Sherrington's Hmolpedia article is requisite here, as Sherrington gives keen discernment.
In 1966, English molecular geneticist Francis Crick, in his Of Molecules and Men, delved into the question of neo-vitalism and gives his cogent view that: 
“Let us abandon the word ‘alive’.”
A full read of Crick's Hmolpedia article is requisite here, as he comes very close to the complete abandonment of the theory of life.
|One of Scottish moral philosopher Francis Macnab’s arrived at absurdities, i.e. that growing plants are neither alive nor dead, an intermediate view to the defunct theory of life, resulting from his 1818 attempt to reconcile religious theory (Biblical views) with modern science (fossil evidence, Copernican system, law of gravitation, atomic theory, chemistry, etc.).  |
In 1818, Scottish moral philosopher Francis Macnab, in his religion and science reconciliation attempting treatise A Theory of the Moral and Physical System of the Universe, arrived at the following rather hilarious logic: 
§40. Between matter and mind, there is, as I have said, a perfect antithesis or contrast (§2-3). The first is passive, the second is active; the first is acted upon by general laws, the second acts by its own particular volition; the first is dead, the second is alive. But, between the animal spirit, and the inanimate clod, there is a middle state partaking of both. It is neither a passive, inert substance, nor is it an active living principle. The growing plant is not dead, neither is it alive. It has no volition, like the animal spirit, neither is it under the dominion of those general laws which operate upon inanimate matter. It possesses a kind of life or vitality, depending upon the influence of the sun, which seems, in a special manner, to rule over the vegetable kingdom, and inspire and quicken it. Accordingly, the sun may be said to the soul of the vegetable world. In his presence they live; in his absence they sleep, or die.§41. But though we can thus discern, by our outward senses, not only the organic bodies of vegetables, but also the glorious luminary which quickens them, we cannot thus discern the principle which quickens the organic bodies of animals: for every animal is quickened by a principle which belongs to itself, and has a will of its own. Its body, indeed, may be called a moveable vegetable, because it is an organic machine, exactly analogous to that of the vegetable. The difference lies here: that the vegetable organic machine is set a-going and kept in order by the sun; but the animal organic machine is set a-going and kept in order by a particular agent which inhabits it. This agent is its soul, or animal spirit, and belongs to the predicament of mind, or the right side of the scale (§39).
In short, according to Macnab, in scale between so-called "dead" inanimate matter, governed by general laws, and so-called "living" animate humans (or animal organic machines), governed by a principle (and a will) which belongs to itself, lies the vegetable organic machine, which is neither alive nor dead.
In 1842, Emil Du Bois-Reymond and Ernst Brücke made the following honor pact (Reymond-Brucke oath): 
“[We pledge] to put in power this truth: no other forces than the common physical chemical ones are active within the organism. In those cases which cannot at the time be explained by these forces one has either to find a specific way or form of their action by means of physical mathematical method, or to assume new forces equal in dignity to the chemical physical forces inherent in matter, reducible to the force of attraction and repulsion.”
|An modified version of American illustrator Linda Hensley’s 2010 illustration of American nuclear physicist Philip Ugorowski’s description of the “nucleus as a jostling swarm of bees, and I happily absorbed his explanation of the orbiting electrons as more bees, or maybe gnats” (link) to illustrate the apparent (or non-apparent) absurdity of "dead atom" / "living molecule" (bee) divide, dichotomy, or dualism.|
The oath was, in turn, adopted by German physicist-physician Hermann Helmholtz, a motto which became the backbone of the famous Helmholtz school of thermodynamics and psychology. The gist of the belief system was that there is no such thing as vitalism or vital energy, but only physical-chemical forces at work in the operation of the organism. A salient unwritten footnote in this belief system pact, however, is the retained belief that life exists—a belief that does not corroborate with the fact that atoms, chemicals, and molecules, are "not" alive—nor are they necessarily "dead" as some, e.g. Christian de Quincey (2002), into the 21st century, would come to trumpet. In short, here after, people would retain to incompatible belief systems: (a) organism are operate purely by chemical physical forces and (b) moving organisms are alive. That the two are incompatible, however, is not immediate.
In 1847, English physicist James Joule noted for following issue with the name "living force", for which in his day there was no alternative term: 
“The force expended in setting a body in motion is carried by the body itself, and exists with it and in it, throughout the whole course of its motion. This force possessed by moving bodies is termed by mechanical philosophers vis viva, or living force. The term may be deemed by some inappropriate, inasmuch as there is no life, properly speaking, in question; but it is useful, in order to distinguish the moving force from that which is stationary in its character, as the force of gravity.”
The term was upgraded first to "actual energy" (William Rankine, 1853) and then eventually to "kinetic energy" (William Thomson, 1862). Although Joule is not stating in a general sense that, in his view, there is no life, his excerpt "there is no life, properly speaking" does indeed apply to everywhere and to every body in the universe; as such, Joule's terminology note, is a precursor to the general conclusion that life is a defunct theory and that "there is no life, properly speaking" anywhere in the universe, the surface of the earth included. The upgrade of vis viva (1686) to kinetic energy (1862) is thus parallel to the upgrade of the term "biology" (1797) to "chnopsology" (2012).
In 1870 to 1874, Spanish physicist, chemist, and natural philosopher Enrique Fatigati published a thermodynamic-based model of the evolution of matter in the universe, according to which there was no "life | non-life" divide, but rather all material forms, from stars to man, were conceptually organized and based on the same chemical and dynamical grounds, in which there exists a “unity of constitution, phenomena, and a common origin, in the general progress of matter” and a “necessity law” that orders the series from simplest to more complicated forms; the following are his views: 
“Organic character means that all matter has a soul—internal, active force conscious of itself—which directs its transformation. Some philosophers call this active principle ‘God’, I prefer to call it ‘natural energy’ or activity. The two laws of thermodynamics are the fundamental laws governing the universe.”
In 1903, French physical chemist Jean Perrin, noted winner of the 1926 Nobel prize for proving that molecules exist, in his Treatise on Physical Chemistry (chapter: “The Principle of Evolution”), was one of the first to discuss the inconsistencies the notion of evolution, in the context of the second law, heat death theory, and so-called “life” originated or rather being synthesized from “dead” atoms (in the context of Carnot’s principle), one of his comments being: 
The first part of this statement is quite accurate: atoms and molecules are indeed lifeless. A single hydrogen atom is not alive, nor are its derivatives (molecules). When one first begins to calculate the molecular formula for a single human (e.g. Sterner and Elser, 2002; Thims, 2007, etc.) and to specifically define a human as a "molecule" one is quickly confronted with a paradox: at what point, second, or reaction mechanism step (in the evolution timeline) on going from hydrogen to human, do molecules come alive? The beginning student will likely have been told that the Urey-Miller experiment (laboratory produced life) or Darwin's warm pond model solved this issue long ago, and that there only remain a few pieces of the puzzle to work out: but this could not be father from the truth.
|Into the 1920s, the seemingly paradoxical question about how, where, or if, when scaling down the evolution ladder, one is stop referring to atoms and molecules via the confusing terminology "dead" or "alive", began to come to the fore, particularly in the works of William Patten (1920), Albert Mathews (1924), and Gilbert Lewis (1925), among others.|
In 1920, American bio-zoologist William Patten, in his The Grand Strategy of Evolution, after already speculating the year prior ("The Message of a Biologist", 1919) on how the modern person might go about deriving a science-based system of morality and future governing constitution for a ‘molecular society’, of people considered as ‘human social atoms’ (social atoms) or ‘human molecules’, based on the pure science teachings of chemistry, physics, and astronomy, stated the following:
“When we attempt to follow up these vital processes within the body, they break up into countless larger and smaller ones, mingling inextricably the living and the dead; into organs, cells, and molecules, each a system in itself, and yet interlocking with all the others in a common give and take, with merely nominal, or purely arbitrary boundaries between them, like different departments in one department store. And when the chemist, or biologist turns his sharpest scrutiny on the most vital fragments of life, the dead and the living appear not less mingled than before. Precisely what parts are ‘dead’ and what ‘alive’ does not appear. Only this is sure: what once was dead is now a part of life; and what was once a part of life, is now a part of things called ‘dead.’
In 1924, American physical biochemist Albert Mathews, in his article “Chemistry and Psychism”, spoke of the difference between “living and dead hydrogen atoms”, albeit in the end his discussion teetered on the nonsensical, but nevertheless is an interesting example of the perplexity one faces when deciding on which theory to side with, i.e. theory of life, no origin theory of life, or defunct theory of life, in the context of the periodic table view of a cell or a human. 
In 1925, American physical chemist Gilbert Lewis classified "life" as one of the main subjects or rather human abstractions of study in metaphysics, meaning that the term "life" it is not something recognized withing the field of physics proper, and may in fact be something akin to the defunct scientific concepts of phlogiston and ether, in Lewis' view. 
English mathematical philosopher Bertrand Russell seemed to teetering on the solution when in 1946 article “Mind and Matter in Modern Science”, he commented: 
“There is increasing reason to think that the whole of difference between living and dead matter is chemical: living matter has the capacity of transforming suitable other matter into something of the same chemical composition as itself.”
In 1929, British animal psychologist Lloyd Morgan introduced the term "biocule", a term Morgan, being a student of English Darwinian evolution promoter and social molecule theorist Thomas Huxley, employed as being representative of the borderland between the atom/molecule scale and the amoeba/rabbit/oak tree scale of atomic organization, which according to English mathematical philosopher Alfred Whitehead (1861-1947) are to be both seen as different "organisms"—albeit, as Morgan specifies, "not a living organism".  In this sense, Morgan, and his "biocule" or "living molecule" notion, footnoted with a side mention of "not living", seems to be close to the defunct theory of life position, but not yet at the finish line.
In 1947, English thermodynamicist Alfred Ubbelohde became the first to take a stab at the suggestion that, from a thermodynamic point of view, there are issues in attempting to differentiate or distinguish "simple forms of life" from "inanimate matter", as discussed in his 1947 chapter on "Life and Thermodynamics", in his book Time and Thermodynamics. At this point in his writing, however, he was still ambivalent on the issue, postulating to the effect that "living things" might be able to be explained in terms of their "disentropic behavior".  In the 1954 version of the same chapter, in Man and Energy, however, Ubbelohde opens to the decisive statement that:
"Animate matter is termed 'life' for short."This is a large step towards the view that the term life in all its uses must be replaced by the term "animate" or something equivalent (such as "reactive"), if the modern thinker is to be cogent with modern science.
In this direction, Ubbelohde devotes an entire chapter section to the topic of "Animate and Inanimate Matter" commenting to the effect that when we look into the question of the origin of life or emergence of life, in the thermodynamic perspective, we are not much beyond the 800BC Greek myth of Prometheus making men of clay, and stealing fire from heaven to animate them.  To exemplify, Ubbelohde quotes Shakespeare's summarizing view on this, from his 1603 Othello, the Moor of Venice: “I know not where is that Promethean heat, that can thy life relum.” Ubbelohde goes on to cite Erwin Schrodinger's famous 1943 lectures on the physics and thermodynamics of what constitutes life, wherein Schrodinger states, through mathematical riddle, that life is something feeds on negative entropy, but who goes on to recants this statement in later additions, following attack from fellow physicists, that he would rather have turned the discussion to free energy to explain life, but assume the topic to difficult for the lay public.
To note, although Ubbelohde seems to be stepping in the right direction, in his advisement that we replace the term life by the term "animate matter", he still holds fast to a grasp of the older dualism view, by giving an asterisk mention of how one must divide animated matter into non-rational beings (selection processes are unconscious) and rational beings (selection processes are conscious), the latter category of which he says human beings fall in. 
In 1991, American philosopher Robert Pirsig was in the neighborhood of the problem in his attempts to grapple with the theory of "struggle to survive" situated in the context of atoms forming a professor in the context of the second law, a section of which is as follows: 
“This is the sort of irrelevant-sounding question that seems minor at first, and the mind looks for a quick answer to dismiss it. It sounds like one of those hostile, ignorant questions some fundamentalist preacher might think up. But why do the fittest survive? Why does any life survive? It's illogical. It's self-contradictory that life should survive. If life is strictly a result of the physical and chemical forces of nature then why is life opposed to these same forces in its struggle to survive? Either life is with physical nature or it's against it. If it's with nature there's nothing to survive. If it's against physical nature then there must be something apart from the physical and chemical forces of nature that is motivating it to be against physical nature.”
In 1997, Swedish physical chemist Sture Nordholm, in his Journal of Chemical Education article “In Defense of Thermodynamics: an Animate Analogy”, first outlined the subject of what he called animate thermodynamics, or thermodynamics applied to the humanities, and then concluded with eight example homework problems, the last of which he leaves to the so-called "life" question, as follows:
Problem #8: Thermodynamics is often applied to the evolution of life-forms on earth. Critics have opposed such applications, arguing that thermodynamics only become applicable when, for example, and animal dies. Which side of this argument do you favor? Why?Comment: the very definition of life in distinction from lifeless existence seems capable of generating interminable argument. Perhaps the scale is continuous and divided into life and lifeless only by personal predilection. Where on such a continuous scale [see: evolution timeline; great chain of being; molecular evolution table] would thermodynamics cease to be relevant?
Here, in Nordholm's discerning comment, we see him at the precipice of the solution to the very question he proposes. Possibly, if Nordholm had stayed with the problem long enough he would have arrived at the solution? To give some comparison, it took American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims nearly a decade to solve: began loosely grappling with the problem in 2001 to 2005, laying the problem out on the table in 2007 (chapter 5: "Molecular Evolution", Human Chemistry), solution arriving in 2009, and still feeling like a wound healing in the mind in 2013, as outlined further below. The particular mental anchor point that allows the solution to precipitate, similar in theme to Nordhom's comment "where on such a continuous scale would thermodynamics cease to be relevant?", is the view that entropy increase, in general, or in particular free energy decrease, in respect to freely going earth-bound standard state surface reactions, is the governing principle for each step in the mechanism, hydrogen (13.7 BYA) to human (present), and to affix a specific point in this ongoing mechanism, e.g. 3.85 BYA, the oldest fossilized bacteria dating, knowing that a bacteria or virus, etc., can still be defined as a molecule (e.g. cell-as-molecule) and hence governed by rules of reaction, is as Sherrington put it in 1938 a ‘recital that trips along simple as a fairy tale.’
|The new 2011 textbook definition of a human as a "26-element energy/heat driven dynamic atomic structure",as found in Indian-born American mechanical engineers Kalyan Annamalai, Ishwar Puri, and Milind Jog’s Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics, based on American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims' 2002 calculation of the 26-element human molecular formula, |
Into the 2000s, with the 2002 publication of the Sterner-Elser human molecular formula, and with the rise of modern human chemical thermodynamics, the question of when exactly is one to stop calling a "molecule" alive began to come into view, particularly in the context of the 2005 molecular evolution table and the 2009 evolution timeline, and doubly in particular in the context of human free energy theory, according to which there is no recognizable difference between the free energy that forms the water molecule and the free energy that forms the human molecule, following which one is forced to look under the scanning tunneling microscope at what exactly one means by the term "life", following which the term quickly becomes defunct beyond repair.
The following switch of terms in the opening abstract sentence as compared to the opening article sentence of Israeli chemist Addy Pross, from his 2003 article “The Driving Force for Life’s Emergence: Kinetic and Thermodynamic Considerations”, gives a view of how, in the early 2000s, researchers began to vacillate ambivalently between the terms “life” and “animate matter”, using the former in more pressurized summaries, the latter in more loosened dialogs: 
Abstract: “The principles that govern the emergence of life from non-life remain a subject of intense debate.”
Article: “The nature of the driving force that led to the emergence of animate matter remains a subject of continuing debate and uncertainty.”
Stepping into the 21st century, the discussion has indeed turned to free energy, specifically Gibbs free energy (see: human free energy timeline). In the free energy view, the search for the origin of life, in the context, of the human molecule perspective, , i.e. humans viewed as animate molecules, which have evolved or synthesized over time, through chemical mechanism, starting from hydrogen atom reactant precursors, the theory of life begins to fall apart to the point that it is no longer tenable (Thims, 2009).
The precariousness of the term "life", in the context of viewing animated structures, such as bacteria and humans, as "molecules" began to come into view in the 2007 chapter "Molecular Evolution" in the 2007 textbook Human Chemistry by American chemical engineer Libb Thims.
In 2008 and 2009, heated discussions began to erupt between Thims and other thermodynamicists, such as Russian physical chemist Georgi Gladyshev, and his 1978 hierarchical thermodynamics theory of life, Indian chemical engineer DMR Sekhar, and his 2007 genopsych anti-entropy theory of life, and American chemical engineer Ted Erikson's and his 2005 Planck-scale panpsychism (or panexperientialism) awareness theory of life, who each would attempt to argue to Thims, possibly to publish their theory in the Journal of Human Thermodynamics (edited by Thims), that life is explained or “mandated” (Gladyshev’s expression) by their respective thermodynamic theory. In Thims view, each, it seemed, was searching for the modern-day equivalent of the mythological “Promethean heat” that started the first life.
In sum, the defunct theory of life holds that antiquated pre-scientific theory of "life", in the modern hmol sciences viewpoint, is a defunct theory, in the sense that one cannot define the hydrogen atom to be alive, therefore structures of modified hydrogen atoms (such as a human) cannot be alive.
Replacement | Life → Animate
In the modern sense, the term life is replaced with the term "animate", on the suggestion of those as American polymath William Sidis, The Animate and the Inanimate (1920), English thermodynamicist Alfred Ubbelohde, “animate matter is termed ‘life’ for short” (1955), and Swedish physical chemist Sture Nordholm, “animate thermodynamics is the study of human behavior ” (1997).
Alternative substitutions include the names reactive as compared to inert, which replace the defunct terms "living molecule" as compared to "dead molecules", the latter of which are nonsensical. Technically, a person, or human molecule, cannot be alive anymore so than can a hydrogen atom or any other molecule in the universe be considered to be alive. The question of what is life has long plagued human thought. The human chemistry viewpoint breaks into this question with such acidity that a mental retrograde-rewiring-detractment effect occurs.
Thims | Irreconcilable with molecular evolution
The "defunct theory of life", as arrived upon by American chemical engineer Libb Thims, as the solution to the "great problem of natural philosophy", originated with meandering thoughts on the notion of a type of particle physics panbioism on the descent down the great chain of being in circa 2005 with the construction of the first molecular evolution table; the theory of life, however, began to be ridiculed in 2007, in Thims' Human Chemistry chapter "Molecular Evolution", in which Thims' commented:
“This type of reasoning, in which small 4-element molecules, such as aspartic acid, a crystalline amino acid found especially in plants, are not alive, whereas 5-element molecules, such a RNA, are alive, is clearly ridiculous.”
was conceived in partial-glimpse in 2007 and then in full-view in 2009, following nearly a decade of thought on the matter, by American chemical engineer Libb Thims. 
|The 2005 online "molecular evolution table" (precursor to the scrolling 2008 evolution timeline), from which the defunct theory of life began to come into view: in other words, from the molecular formula point of view, it is difficult to decide which row of the table is "alive" or the first point of life, after which one is forced to migrate to one of four conclusions: (a) emergence (untenable), (b) panpsychism (untenable), or (c) "life principle" (puzzling), or (d) defunctness (tenable); the latter of which leads one into the modern view that what in olden days one would call "life" is simply a property of (primarily) the light-induced reactionary "animateness" of the carbon atom (the prime examples being the retinal molecule, walking molecule, etc.)||Excerpt from the 2007 Human Chemistry, chapter "Molecular Evolution", in which American chemical engineer Libb Thims first began to grapple with the defunct theory of life issue, namely illogical supposition that the first form of life was a small molecular entity such as RNA (a 5-element molecule) or a single-cell bacteria (a 15-element molecule), which leads to the absurd conclusion that the precursor molecules or reactant molecules that went into the synthesis of that first "living molecule" were either sort of alive or a dead molecule or something nonsensical to this effect. |
|On 2 Jan 2009, Thims' vents his new position, in argumentative stance, in opposition to primarily Russian physical chemist Georgi Gladyshev, and his view that "thermodynamics mandates life", that he now sees the term and concept of "life" to be an untenable position.||On 15 Jun 2009, the Hmolpedia "evolution" article is updated with the above hydrogen to human form change schematic: a snapshot look at the development of animate matter (chnopsological matter), from inanimate matter (elements of the periodic table), which shows that from the point of view of human molecular theory, i.e. that each structure—hydrogen molecule H2 to human molecule Mx—has as specific molecular formula, the search for the so-called “emergence” or origin of life, becomes a search for a philosopher’s stone: a mythological entity, and hence a fictional concept; a view arrived at by American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims during the years when he began molecular evolution tables (2005) and an online evolution timeline (2009), according to which, in the colloquial scientific view, the notion that in the step of the transition of about the “third arrow”, shown above, that something called “life” originated, emerged, or started, becomes an absurdity (particularly from the thermodynamical perspective): a view paramount to the conclusion that the hydrogen atom is alive, which is not the case as far as chemistry and physics are concerned—a conclusion discerned in 1938 by English physiologist Charles Sherrington.|
|The VedamsBooks.com advertisement, supposedly typed out by Indian chemical engineer DMR Sekhar, project head, for the 2010 The Philosophy of Evolution, showing the preface section with American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims' defunct theory of life position highlighted; although, to note, the actual chapter contribution by Thims does not touch on the details of this. || |
Thims puts the above crossed out "bio-" prefixed on the Hmolpedia homepage; along with Polish solid state physicist Michal Kurzynski’s 2006 opening chapter one, form his The Thermodynamic Theory Machinery of Life, wherein he vacillates the question of how to define biophysics, either as a type of experimental biology or the “physics of animate matter”, implying that biology is not the study of life (an undefined/mythology-based term), as we have been led to believe, but rather the study of animate matter, as would be the correct physical science perspective (as was outlined earlier by Alfred Ubbelohde, Man and Energy, 1954). 
“Let us abandon the word ‘alive’.”
— Francis Crick, Of Molecules and Men (1966) “[If] these terms [‘unit-mass of living matter’, ‘resultant of organic forces’, ‘continuity of organic substance’, etc.], biologists have adopted from physics, are used figuratively, we ought to find them re-defined.”
— Karl Pearson (1892), Grammar of Science 
|Thims begins to editorially make redaction rewrites and initiate restrictions on use of all bio-related terms and antonyms in JHT articles (see: life terminology upgrades) per classification as being perpetual motion theory terms (perpetual motion of the living kind and hence not acceptable to a thermodynamics journal.|
|American physicist Michael Brooks' popular science article-turned 2007 book 13 Things That Don't Make Sense, he devotes fifth biggest problem in science to the issue that the concept of "life", as a bag of chemicals, does "not making any sense". |
“Stop taking it for granted, and think for a moment about what sets the biological world apart from the world of nonliving matter. No scientist on earth can tell you the fundamental difference between these two states.”Brooks goes on to explain how every historical attempt do define life has ended in failure. Likewise, in his 2010 Moral Landscapes, American neuroscientist Sam Harris comments: 
“What do I mean by ‘dead’? Do I mean ‘dead’ with reference to specific goals? Well, if you must, yes—goals like respiration, energy metabolism, responsiveness to stimuli, etc. The definition of ‘life’ remains, to this day, difficult to pin down?”
The solution to this conceptual "dividing wall" finds resolution in a combination of perspective (advanced perspective) and relativity (reaction speed), with a concurrent interment of the out-dated "theory of life", which finds that a moving "human" can never be said to be "alive", but rather "reactive" or "bound" or other chemical terminology variations.
Said another way, in the correct modern sense, any given molecule (human molecule included), such as a hydrogen molecule, water molecule, or a bacteria molecule, etc., cannot technically be said to be alive, any more than the hydrogen or a star can be said to be alive. A chemical reaction cannot technically be said to be alive. This is a huge rewiring thought in the framework of human knowledge. One must side with either the fact that they themselves are not alive or that the hydrogen atom is alive. The latter alternative, as one will find, leads to a number of absurdities.
See main: Unbridgeable gapThis new scientific perspective arises from the modern discernment of prolonged study of molecular evolution tables and timelines, that it is technically impossible to find a specific "spark day" (or rather spark second), in the contiguous chemical synthesis mechanism, on the evolution timeline, starting with hydrogen reactants H (13.7 billion years ago), stepping through a number of molecular species intermediates MI, and ending with modern human molecule products MH (200,000 years ago), at which it can technically be said that the chemical mechanism suddenly "came alive":
|Hydrogen atom||Hydrogen molecule||Human molecule|
| || |
| Not alive!|
No brain (thinking)
No free will!
Has a soul?
Has free will?
|The thinker who holds-fast to the ancient mythological doctrines of 'life', 'soul', 'consciousness', 'free will', 'choice', a 'brain', etc., will argue, to their grave, that, in some contrived-way or another, at one particular second in time, in the course of human evolution mechanism, that molecules, somehow, came to life, acquired souls, developed a free will, obtained the a state of consciousness, evolved the ability to think, among other now-defunct traits that do not apply to the hydrogen atom, nor to any other molecule, known in science.|
|(see correct formulations: animate chemistry, animate physics, animate thermodynamics)|
In other words, in modern view, every intermediate, MI1, MI2, MI3, etc., in the steps of chemical synthesis of the human molecule, over time, are simply only bigger-and-bigger, more-and-more dynamic molecules, derivative of the hydrogen atom. Subsequently, one is forced into one of two conclusions, either the hydrogen atom is alive or the human molecule is not alive. The former is nonsensical.
Others, as history has shown, will argue that these olden-days properties said to be characteristic of "living beings" (living matter, living system, living organism, living molecules, etc.), are "emergent", "self-organizing", "self-replicating", or "auto-catalytic", etc., properties, or in possession of some type of "living energy" (or living force), or in a specific "living state", etc., and write entire books and spend decades in attempts to salvage the olden-days concepts.
A few prime examples, used to explain the "missing link" mechanism step (dividing life from non-life) in the above contiguous mechanism, include the 1926 theory of Vladimir Vernadsky who argues that “living matter” of the “biosphere” (sphere of life) is a type of “green fire” of stable compounds in a thermodynamics field living off of free energy; the 1970s views of Ilya Prigogine, who posits that living things are a far-from-equilibrium sort of Benard cell state or type of dissipative structure; to the 1990s views of Stuart Kaufman to argues that life is an auto catalytic reaction, able to complete one thermodynamic cycle, that somehow that ‘catches fire’.
In any event, in summary, many newcomers to the subject of the "human molecule" will object to the definition of a human being as 'molecule' on the grounds that a human being has a soul (religious objection), that humans have internal crystalline structures, e.g. teeth enamel, hence the term molecule cannot be used (technical jargon objection), that living things have an atomic turnover rate of about 48-percent of structural atoms per year and thus cannot be a molecule (theoretical issue), or that a human cannot be a molecule because a person has a brain (conceptual issue), that a human cannot be a molecule because a human has consciousness, choice, and free will (educational issues), and so on.
Whatever the objection, there is no doubt that humans are made purely of atoms, meaning that humans can be categorized as a type of chemical entity using whatever name one prefers, and that humans are reactive to each other, hence the subject of 'human chemical reactions' is a topic germane to human chemistry.
|Indian chemical engineer DMR Sekhar's 2010 response article "The Paradox of Life | Life: a Defunct Scientific Theory" article in which gives his "hot plate objection", wherein he attempts to say that humans (as molecules) are alive because humans will reactively jump of hot plates, whereas water molecules (dead), supposedly, won't. |
The following 2010 blog-post by Indian chemical engineer DMR Sekhar gives in idea of the issues arising in process of abandonment of the “life theory”: 
“The question of ‘self’ is a tough problem and modern scientists abandoned this question long back. One of my friends an American chemical engineer Libb Thims says that “life is a defunct scientific theory” in other words there is nothing called life. Honestly Libb’s position is the position of the present day science. I respect Libb for his honesty though I disagree with him.”
Sekhar then followed up his blog post, which itself gathered some reply discussion, with a multi-part knol article "The Paradox of Life | Life: a Defunct Scientific Theory?", in which he gives a hotplate objection to the defunct theory of life view. Sekhar’s hotplate objection is summarized by Sekhar as follows:
|Indian chemical engineer DMR Sekhar's 2010 "hot plate objection" thought experiment, according to which one water molecule (left) and human molecule (right) are placed on a hot plate, the heat is then turned on, and supposedly the person will "jump" off because he is "conscious" and "alive", whereas the water molecule will remain on the hot page, because it is "unconscious" and "dead", a misconstrued logic that Sekhar thinks disproves the defunct theory of life.|
"Let us consider an experiment where a jar of water and a conscious man were placed on two hot plates of two feet by two feet size and let us switch on the hot plates. What we will observe is that in the first case the jar remains on the hot plate and the water will become hot. In the second case the man will jump out of the hot plate trying to preserve himself and hence he is alive unlike the water molecules."
The above argument is similar to a well-paid lawyer in a courtroom distorting the facts around to make it seem as though his guilty client is innocent; whereas, correctly, if a single human molecule and a single water molecule (or a single drop of water; or beaker of water), as shown adjacent, were placed on a hotplate and the heat was turned up, both molecules, human and water, will be "forced" to remove themselves, the human via induced movement sensory input, the water by evaporation—both driven by the quantum electrodynamic exchange force—photon/electron interaction—mechanism of the electromagnetic force.
In any event, Sekhar then goes on to argue that the difference between the behavior of the water molecule and human molecule can be quantified by the following argument or rather equation to describe the behavior:
f(L) – f(D) = f(g)
where: f(L) = the state of a being that is alive, f(D) = the state of a being that has just died, f(g) = 0 to x. Sekhar states that:"if the behavior of a live being equates to that of a dead being, then f(g) = 0, otherwise, it could be any other value. A value of 0 would support Thims' contention that there is no such thing as "life"—there is only the material world. However, we have observed in our theoretical experiment that a living object will display different behavior to a recently dead object therefore it is abundantly clear that f(g) is not in fact equal to zero."
Sekhar's so-called "hot plate objection", i.e. that human molecule and a water molecule will react differently when placed on a hot plate, is nearly absurd in its silliness. Both "molecules", as experiment will show, will be "forced" off the hot plate, the water by evaporation, the human by sensory exchange force induced movement. The objection shows nothing more than Sekhar's unwillingness to look deeper into the problem and moreover his uncompromising view to retain his "self drive" theory of human motion, i.e. that "a human uses his or her internal biological energy and their will, but this is not same as perpetual motion machine, because a human takes in food from external environment to accumulate and or store internal biological energy” (notice the use of the term "bio" twice), as he believes emerged or came about miraculously somehow when DNA formed and that DNA has some type of anti-entropy God-infused consciousness; all of which is crouched in perpetual motion theory. 
|Australian engineer Vangelis Stamatopoulos' 15 Nov 2010 blog opinion on the defunct theory of life debate between Indian chemical engineer DMR Sekhar and American chemical engineer Libb Thims. |
Stamatopoulos' 2010 summary
The debate, or rather rebuttal proof by Sekhar, was commented on further on November 15, 2010 by Australian engineer Vangelis Stamatopoulos, who surmised:
“Atheism is often portrayed as being materialistic so when I came across a debate on life or life essence or life force or whatever you want to call it, I was immediately intrigued. Here were two engineers, one based in the US and the other in Jordan discussing the nature of life. The two "protagonists" are Libb Thims an American chemical engineer, electrical engineer, and thermodynamicist known for his work and research in the development of the newly emerging sciences of human chemistry, the study of reactions between human molecules, and human thermodynamics, the study of energy, work, and heat aspects of systems of human molecules and DMR Sekhar a Mineral Process Engineer at JPMC Ltd.”
Then side in conclusion, firstly with Thims:
“Thims argument, which makes a compelling argument for the materialist point of view - claiming that the concept of ‘life’ is a defunct theory, is very logical, rational and totally convincing argument indeed. When I first read it, it certainly made me think about my views and understanding of the experience of existence or consciousness (i.e. life?) that I began to doubt my understanding of it.”
Then, siding with Sekhar, stated:
“Next, I came across Sekhar's response (hot plate objection) to Thims' argument and I have to say that is just as compelling and maybe even a bit more so.”
Stamatopoulos' bipartisan siding here is a good example of the newcomer's reaction to the issue, being that it takes a prolonged amount of time to see through to the crux of the issue, namely that the so-called "origin of life" supposedly occurring on one specific day 3.85-billion years ago, somewhere on earth, is an allusion; the correct view being that first organism argument, reduces to the irreconcilable position that if entity "C" is the first form of life, commonly assumed to be unicellular type of bacteria, virus, or RNA molecule, etc. (each of which are large 6-16 element molecule, comprised of upwards of billion atoms, in the bacteria molecule case), then the reactant "A" and "B" in this so-called "first life chemical reaction", as depicted below:
A + B → Cwould, firstly, spontaneous occur owing to a free energy decease (Schrodinger's 1944 position), but somehow conclude that this was somehow a special or, we might say, magical reaction mechanism, not known to chemistry in which "dead" reactants became "alive" products, which is untenable and completely nonsensical. The central issue, as exemplified in Ubbelohde's attempt at a rational matter (unconscious) / non-rational matter (conscious), is a near-childlike reversion attempt to salvage olden days concepts connected to human or anthropocentric ideals of purpose and, in many cases, religious afterlife theories, most-often centered on the issue of free will or that a person chooses his or her own actions (the basis of morality), whereas, as atoms and molecules don't.
|Left: Belgian psychologist and scientific philosopher David Bossens’ 2012 Squidoo article “Life, a Defunct Concept?”, wherein he states his view that while the term “life” may in fact be defunct, the related term “biology” should still be retained, for utility sake, but redefined as the study of structures consisting of cells and genes.  Right: Bossens' 2013 book Debates of the Hmolpedians, wherein he discusses his newly-learned views on hmolscience, in regards to questions on the defunct theory of life, biology, free will, prediction, DNA, human molecular theory, among others. |
Bossens’ 2012 views
In early 2012, Belgian psychologist David Bossens began researching into the hmolsciences, investigating questions surrounding free will, choice, the social sciences in the context of thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, evolution, religion, and human chemistry, among others, and by 06 Jun 2012 had published a series of short eBook style articles, one entitled “Reflections: Criticisms of Science”.  A sticky point for Bossens, in his discussions, concerned the defunct theory of life view, which he seemed to agree with for the most part, except for the view, however, that the term “biology” should be retained, albeit redefined as the study of structures with cells and genes. 
In a Squidoo article entitled “Life, a defunct concept?”, shown adjacent, Bossens summarized his view that "life" should be redefined as "a force that moves biological organisms", where biological organism strictly means an entity that "has or consists of one or more cells and has genes (DNA or RNA) for coding its proteins." 
Bossens' logic, however, is error-ridden on a number of points. Firstly, Bossens' definition is recursive amounting to "life is a force that moves life", in short, which is meaningless. Bossens seems to think that by mixing together Greek (bio-) and English (life) synonyms of the same word in once sentence that he has achieved something? Secondly, an easy disproof his his life definition is the example of a resin fossilized coccoid cyanobacteria from 3.5 billion years ago, such as depicted on the evolution timeline, which clearly (a) has one or more cells and (b) had DNA, but does not, however, in the colloquial sense, seem to be "alive", as Bossens' definition would entail. Thirdly, he states "biology has a very clear definition". This could not be farther from the truth. Biology—by world-over agreed upon definition—is "the study of life" and as Bossens answers later in his article “So, is life a defunct term? Yes.” This amounts to Bossens’ new 2012 definition of “biology” as “the study of a defunct term”. Hence, the article is recursive and circular all in the name of "practicality", which seems to be his objection, i.e. "biology is a practical term", thus we should keep. Bossens here would be wise to heed the famous words of Aristotle: "Plato is my friend, but truth my greater friend." If there is no truth in a term it should not be kept.
The issue here, to elaborate via historical comparison, is similar to the late 17th century usage of the terms vis viva, Latin for “living force”, coined by German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz in 1686 as the name for Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens’s quantity mv². Some three centuries have since passed and we now, of course, no longer use the term “living force” to describe the motion of a body by the formula mv², but instead use the term energy (Thomas Young, 1807) or kinetic energy (William Thomson, 1862).  The same is the case, historically, with the conversion of the term vis mortua (Emilie du Chatelet, c.1740) or dead essence into potential energy (William Rankine, 1853).
From these examples, we can extrapolate that about a hundred or so years from now the obsolete term “biology” will no longer be in use, likely replaced by something along the lines of “animate science” (similar to the historical protocol of "life thermodynamics", an early 20th century term, replaced by "animate thermodynamics", a late 20th century term, i.e. the study of animated organisms (or animate systems, animate matter, or animate molecules, etc.); or possibly “chnops-ology” the study of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, sulfur based (CHNOPS-based) molecular organisms; other terms may result as well.
Lastly, Bossens entire memorandum skirts around the central issue of the "origin of life" problem. He seems to allude to the premise, but not state it specifically and outright, that once—at one particular second in the past history of the movement of the universe—a phospholipid bilayer formed around the molecular structure of [C10H16O13N5P2]N or RNA and that this momentous moment marks the start second of life, or something to this effect—and hence would seem to want to maintain the infamous materialistic dividing wall in his conception of the universe of something along the lines of a "Physics + Chemistry | Biology" model. The Lynn Margulis endosymbiotic hypothesis, however, shows that there was no such start second, or dividing wall, but rather that cellular mergers formed by types of bacterial combination reactions, which naturally enough trace back to the formation of the hydrogen atom, which is not alive nor is it dead. The same logic, in turn, holds upward through the formation and synthesis of human molecules, which are types of hydrogen atom derivatives, neither alive nor dead, but only reactive or nonreactive (or inert) among other periodic table neutral namesakes.
|American science journalist Ferris Jabr's 2013 musings on the animate nature between his cat and his brother's K'Nex roller coaster led him to the 2013 conclusion that "life" is something that does not exist; a view independently arrived at in 2009 by American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims, per similar reasons; and also concurred, in part, by those including: Francis Crick (1966) and Charles Sherrington (1938).|
In 2013, American science journalist Ferris Jabr, in his Scientific American blog article “Why Life Does Not Really Exist”, argues that life does not exist, an argument which he begins as follows: 
“Recently, however, I had an epiphany that has forced me to rethink why I love living things so much and reexamine what life is, really. For as long as people have studied life they have struggled to define it. Even today, scientists have no satisfactory or universally accepted definition of life. While pondering this problem, I remembered my brother’s devotion to K’Nex roller coasters and my curiosity about the family cat.
Why do we think of the former as inanimate and the latter as alive? In the end, aren’t they both machines? Granted, a cat is an incredibly complex machine capable of amazing behaviors that a K’Nex set could probably never mimic. But on the most fundamental level, what is the difference between an inanimate machine and a living one? Do people, cats, plants and other creatures belong in one category and K’Nex, computers, stars and rocks in another? My conclusion: No. In fact, I decided, life does not actually exist.”
Defunct views: Panpsychism | Emergence | Life principle
Within thinking distance of the defunct theory of life, aside from the (a) "life principle view", are firstly the (b) "emergence view", namely that over time enough properties, e.g. ability to reproduce, a membrane, a type of catalytic based atomic turnover rate metabolism, animation, etc., that at some definite point in time, one can assign one particular structure will the minimal amount of properties that one can definitively assign as "life"; and secondly is the (c) "panbioism view" the view that all things are alive, some more than others, to some extent. These three views are to be avoided as all lead to nonsensical results and conclusions.
|Left: American plant physiologist Frank Thone's 1936 depiction and definition of a plant NOT is a living system (or vegetible life), but, using chemically-neutral terminology, as a "CHNOPS plus system".  Right: modern evolutionary-depicted examples of "CHNOPS plus" systems, monkeys upwards through humans, each comprised, elementally, in composition, using agreed upon neutral terminology, as: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur (CHNOPS), plus calcium, potassium, etc. up to vanadium, depending, reactive animate systems.|
See main: Life terminology upgradesIn 1966, English molecular biologist (chnopsologist) Francis Crick, in his Of Molecules and Men, delved into the question of neo-vitalism and gives his cogent view that: 
“Let us abandon the word ‘alive’.”
A few precipitative terminology upgrades to have resulted from the defunct theory of life perspective include the following recent (2009-present) Hmolpedia-introduced terms:
● Birth → Reaction start
● Life → Reaction existence
● Death → Reaction end
The following are related quotes:
“Birth is the aggregation of atoms, death is their disaggregation or destruction of atomic composite, without anything being derived from nothing and nothing going into anything in the process.”— Leucippus (c.460BC), and or the analogous views of Empedocles and Anaxagoras, summarized by Giovanni Reale | 1987
“Life and death are more questions of mixture and separation.”— Empedocles (c.450BC), synopsis of views by James Furlong | 1906
“If failure attends all our efforts to obtain a generation of organisms from lifeless matter, it seems to me a thoroughly correct procedure to inquire whether there has ever been an origination of life, or whether it is not as old as matter, and whether its germs, borne from one world to another, have not been developed wherever they have found a favorable soil.”— Hermann Helmholtz (1874), “On the Use and Abuse of the Deductive Method in Physical Science” 
“The hypothesis of an actual beginning of life in time seems to be growing less and less fruitful with the advance of experiential knowledge.”— William Ritter (1909), “Life from the Biologist’s Standpoint” 
“The ‘energy’ of mechanics must not be confused with the ‘energy’ of ordinary parlance, nor is it excusable to imagine that a mechanical ‘live force’ is a force that is alive. If one would know the meaning of ‘entropy’ one had better glance at a treatise on thermodynamics.”— Vilfredo Pareto (1916), Treatise on General Sociology, Volume Four 
“Certain analogies of behavior are observed between the machine and the living organism, the problem as to whether the machine is alive or not is, for our purposes, semantic … if we use the word ‘life’ to cover all phenomena which locally swim upstream against the current of entropy, we are at liberty to do so; however, we shall then include many astronomical phenomena … it is my opinion, therefore, best to avoid all question-begging epithets such as ‘life’, ‘soul’, ‘vitalism’, and the like, and say merely that machines [and] human beings [are] pockets of decreasing entropy in a framework in which the large entropy tends to increase.”— Norbert Wiener (1950), The Human Uses of Human Beings 
“To say that life is nothing but a property of certain peculiar combinations of atoms is like saying that Shakespeare's Hamlet is nothing but a property of a peculiar combination of letters.”— Ernst Schumacher (1977), A Guide for the Perplexed (Ѻ)
“Physical chemistry [is] a mathematical language, and it is a large part of my evangelistic attitude to suppose that much of developmental biology will some day have to be [re-]written in much [of] the same language that physical chemists have been using for decades.”— Lionel Harrison (2008), The Shaping of Life 
“One of the most interesting topics [human molecule] I have ever had the pleasure to read. Going through it a second time, and looking forward to the third. [The Human Molecule] covers the most fundamental change in human knowledge since Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species , by presenting a theory that we are fundamentally molecules, and that the question of life itself is a fundamentally flawed one. Especially important is the carefully laid out historical narrative of how Thims came to his theory of the human as a molecule. Whether you ultimately agree with this work or not, it represents a paradigm shift in viewing our place in the world.”— Jeff Tuhtan (2011), Amazon book review 
“Part two is an original article produced for publication in the Journal of Human Thermodynamics. The peer reviewer Libb Thims highlighted concerns regarding the use of terms such as ‘soul’ and ‘life’ stating that these terms have no physical meaning in modern scientific publications. Although it is difficult for a working biologist (life scientist) such as this author to accept that the word life has no physical meaning, it is an important observation. Here, the word ‘soul’ is associated with ‘soulatrophicity’, which is intended to refer to the origin of life, but will be replaced with ‘fractional dimension’. The word ‘life’ will also be replaced by ‘self-aware organic accretion’ or similar associated with carbon and the other 25 elements.”— Mark Janes (2012), Mr Carbon Atom (pg.70)
“Origins: probably 4-5 yrs old, I believed that I came from some sort of light source, probably the sun. My first word was also "light". Life and death: I grew up in the country, so we had dead animals around all the time. Probably 6 or so before I thought about my own death as inevitable. Existence: I neglected this question until coming across your Human Molecule book at around age 30. I don't believe in the common sense notion of life. There does not seem to be any evidence that I am alive.”
— Jeff Tuhtan (2013), response to query on “big questions” recollections (see: belief system (children)) 
“At this juncture, I would like to express my opinion about many new big publications of Libb. I do not want to have any relation to the manifestly absurd notions about ‘non-existent theory of life’ and the widespread use of the term ‘molecule’.”— Georgi Gladyshev (2013), “Life as a Phenomenon” 
“This [are viruses alive] debate could take an entirely different route if you consider a letter published  in the Journal of Human Thermodynamics by Libb Thims in which he discussed the idea that a theory of life was in fact defunct. The point was made that we do not consider a single atom to be alive, nor two atoms, or three. He builds on this statement to say that ‘it should be very obvious that no matter how many atoms one adds to the argument that an atom or a structure made of two or more atoms cannot be alive’. This is a bold statement as it clearly implies that it is impossible to apply the idea of life to anything, even us. Nikola Tesla also outlined a ‘defunct theory of life’ in 1915 where he said that ‘There is no thing endowed withlife’. This is obviously a very pedantic way to look at the definition of life but a relevant viewpoint nonetheless. Is anything living, or nothing? Or everything?”— David Busse (2013), “Viruses: Living or Not?”, Dec 10 
|A 2011 symposium, Jun 17-19, at the Multimedia Institute, Zagreb, organized by Nathan Brown (UC Davis) and Petar Milat (MaMa), on the subject of addressing vitalism and antivitalism in contemporary philosophy, the synopsis of with is: |
“‘Life’ is the site of a formidable lacuna. There is no firmly established scientific account of its constitutive properties or the process of its genesis. Varieties of “vital materialism” prone to describing physical forces in terms of an inherent “life of things” have done little to clarify the problematic nature of the concept, and insofar as “life” functions as an empty signifier concealing an absence of theoretical coherence we might be better to have done with it.”
This symposium seems to be digging around is in the neighborhood the view of "life" as a defunct theory.
● Life does not exist
● Origin of life (2010) – Hmolpedia threads.
● N.T.’s views on Jabr (2014) – Hmolpedia threads.
1. (a) Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume One) (life: difficulties on term, pgs. 130-31). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
(b) Thims, Libb. (2009). “Letter: Life a Defunct Scientific Theory”, Journal of Human Thermodynamics, Vol. 5, pgs. 20-21.
2. Brooks, Michael. (2008). 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: the Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time (ch. 5: “Life: Are You More Than Just a Bag of Chemicals”, pgs. 69-82). Double Day.
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8. Prometheus – Wikipedia.
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(b) Othello – Wikipedia.
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(b) Tesla, Nikola. (2007). The Nikola Tesla Treasury (pg. 504-13). Wilder Publications.
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(d) Seifer, Marc. (1998). Wizard: the Life and Times of Nikola: Biography of a Genius (pg. 105). Citadel Press.
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19. Life (16 Jun 2012) – Hmolpedia threads.
20. Bossens, David. (2012). “Life, a defunct concept?”, Squidoo.com, Jun 19.
21. Smith, Crosbie and Wise, M. Norton. (1989). Energy and Empire: A Biographical Study of Lord Kelvin (pg. 378). Cambridge University Press.
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(b) The Grammar of Science – Wikipedia.
25. (a) Self drive (March 2011) – Hmolpedia thread.
(b) Sekhar, DMR. (2010). “The Drive and Direction of Evolution” (cached), Knol; in: WordPress.com, Aug 15, 2010.
(c) Defunct theory of life (2011) – Hmolpedia tread.
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39. Hmolpedia messaging communication to Libb Thims (22 Apr 2013).
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43. Harrison, Lionel G. (2011). The Shaping of Life: the Generation of Biological Pattern (pg.105). Cambridge University Press.
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(b) Stewart, Balfour and Tait, Peter G. (1875). The Unseen Universe: or Physical Speculations on a Future State (pg. 187). Macmillan.
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48. Tuhtan, Jeff. (2011). “Review: The Human Molecule”, Amazon.com Reviews, Jan 28.
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51. Jabr, Ferris. (2013). “Why Life Does Not Really Exist”, Scientific American, Brainwaves Blog, Dec 2.
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● Sekhar, D.M.R. (2011). Genopsych: a Coinage in the Foundry of Biology (Thims, 6+ pgs). Scientific Publishers.