begin by what I am the most interested in your response: I would be grateful if you could send me the pdf of your article entitled "Selection without replicators: the origin of genes, and the replicator/interactor distinction in etiobiology.": I would like to read it and send you my comments if you like it. Your examples of material, physical (in one word 'real') things that scientists cannot define scientifically but that they can study: - Life: for me it is a metaphysical concept; - Species: as Arkalen is saying, there are "different definitions of 'species' that apply to different situations and then there are situations where scientists avoid the word entirely"; - Region: I supposed you mean that we cannot define an absolute boudary for a 'region' in general but we must for a specific region; - Niche: aproximatively the same situation as for 'species - Mountain: I supposed you mean that we cannot define an absolute distinction between these different categories as 'rise in the ground', 'hill', 'mountain' etc. However, when scientists are dealing with such a specific 'rise in the ground' they will specify its altitud accurately; - Ecosystem: it is true that such a concept is vague but when scientists are dealing with it they must specify their definition for the given situation they are studying; - Disease: I am physician and I can assert that physicians must define a particular disease when they study it (e.g. consensus documents such as the consensus document of The Joint European Society of Cardiology/ American College of Cardiology Committee for the redefinition of myocardial infarction); - Society: the same as for 'Ecosystem'; - Cognition: the same as for 'Ecosystem'; - Planet: a clear definition exists! - Star: the same as for 'planet'! - Galaxy: the same as for 'planet'! - Cloud: the same as for 'Ecosystem'; - Climate: the same as for 'Ecosystem'. I am a little puzzled by your view of what science is: is it because you are a philosopher? For me 'philopsophy' is between science and metaphysics: why didn't you choose 'philosophy' in your examples?
Animals: You do not want to see the point: the fact you are taking the example of the most complex extant terrestrial systems which is the result of more than 4 billion years of Darwinian evolution and that it is far easier that to make a distinction with minerals than for prions, for example!
"The miraculous moment when etc." Sorry, but I do not understand your objection and what you are meaning by "Facts not admitted in evidence!": can you specify it?
Fasifiability of the concept of life: "Black-or-white fallacy is a false dilemma fallacy that unfairly limits you to only two choices" (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy). The distinction between nonliving and living systems is not a false dilemma fallacy: it is necessary if you want to know something about the origin of life. As, for me, it is not possible to make such a distinction this is the reason why I suggest to work on the origin of Darwinian evolution instead, as you seem to do in your article entitled "Selection without replicators: the origin of genes, and the replicator/interactor distinction in etiobiology" but I would like to read it before, to be sure, because the abstract is not so clear.
"Really? I had no idea" Don't be too condescending: I am doing research in this domain too (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis - the paragraphs "Lipid world" and "Origin of Darwinian evolution rather than origin of life")