In terminologies, non-living matter, as contrasted with living matter, is a term used to describe the either intake of atomic material into a biological organism for metabolism or the precursor atoms and molecules to the reaction or process that lead to the hypothetical first form of life.

In 1925, American chemist Edwin Slosson stated following about non-living matter: [1]

“Thirty times a minute, we repeat [the action of breathing], some particles of non-living matter [air] are drawn into our bodies and become living matter, just as with mathematical precision the reverse process is repeated.”

This definition presupposed that air, a medium composed of ten chemical species: nitrogen (N2) 78%, oxygen (O2) 21%, as well as argon (Ar), neon (Ne), helium (He), methane (CH4), krypton (Kr), hydrogen (H2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and xenon (Xe), in smaller percentages, is an example of ‘dead matter’, but that these ten atoms and molecules become living matter or, in other words, ‘alive’ when inhaled, which is a nonsensical postulate.

1. Slosson, Edwin. (1925). The Sermons of a Chemist (pg. 11). Harcourt, Brace, and Co.

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