Compare the essence of the processes of growth, reproduction and metabolism in inanimate nature and living organisms. Give examples of properties characteristic of a living organism, which can be observed in inanimate objects.
Both living bodies and inanimate objects are composed of various substances and really exist in nature. In addition, the same laws of chemistry, physics, and mechanics apply to both of these categories. The similarity can also be called the property of responding to stimulation of the external environment (the “property of reflection”).
Signs of living organisms that distinguish them from inanimate matter
The ability to reproduce and self-reproduce through the mechanism of heredity. Microscopic structures known as “genes” are responsible for the transmission of traits of individuals involved in reproduction. Thanks to this, living organisms are able to maintain their numbers and maintain their properties from one generation to another.
Ability to change, adapting to changing environmental conditions. Here we have in mind two properties of living bodies at once – this is the ability to change their properties in accordance with new living conditions and transfer these new properties to future generations. Thus, organisms facilitate not only their existence, but also ensure the viability of the following generations.
Metabolism and dependence on energy. All living organisms exist in constant relationship with the outside world. They constantly consume energy (plants – sunlight, animals – food, etc.), with the cessation of the flow of energy, the creature’s life also ceases. In addition, the products of energy processing by the body go back into the environment, providing a continuous exchange of substances between different systems.
Unity of composition and self-regulation. The main substances that make up organisms are nitrogen, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Maintaining the constancy of this composition and the processes occurring inside the body is one of its main functions.
Movement and growth. These properties are inherent in inanimate objects, so this is not a cardinal difference. However, the movement and development of living bodies is significantly different from similar mechanisms in non-living ones. If objects of inanimate nature are able to move and grow only under the influence of external forces (wind, movement of tectonic plates, etc.), then living organisms are able to move on their own using their own organs.
A reflection property characteristic of nonliving matter. But if the reactions of inanimate bodies depend on physical laws, then the response to irritation in living organisms is different and selective. For example, honey plants respond differently to the appearance of bees and pests. While the pebble lying on the edge of the mountain will equally react to the movement of rocks or the push from the beak of a bird, it will roll down under the influence of gravity.