25. Interactors thus conceived also rule out the whole planet as a candidate for evolving life, because although the planet could be conceived as metabolizing (in a highly collaborative way), it does not interact with other such wholes. It also lacks any means of reproducing itself. We are more ambivalent about ecosystems, which may frequently interact, but a case would have to be made for ecosystems forming a lineage that was more than mere continuity (as a substitute for replication).

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