Broadly and most universally defined, life includes all patterns that work, at least within a given range of conditions, to maintain and replicate themselves.

The classical Terragen term applies to evolved biological life, but this definition has long been extended to cover artificial or non-terragen bionts with the same characteristics, alifes within suitable virtual environments and inorganic self-maintaining and self-replicating systems such as neumanns. The boundaries of the term are sometimes extended to cover viruses (both biological and software), and even prions, although there are those who argue that the latter lack the complexity and range of truly living patterns.
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Development Notes
Text by Peter Kisner and M. Alan Kazlev
additions by Stephen Inniss
Initially published on 03 December 2001.