Thanks for the link about the book, The Restless Clock. At over 14 pounds for the Kindle edition, I will have to wait a while to read it, but it certainly promises to show how the sweeping assumption that living things are passive, not active agents is not the complete picture & leaves scientists & others w/ a warped picture of living things as well as the non-living. This makes me think of the objection I ran across early in my biology education: that science can't even adequately define what makes something a living thing. For example, one of the characteristics of living things is the ability to reproduce. The offspring of a horse & donkey is a mule, which is sterile (actually I learned not too long ago that mules sometimes have young, but it is considered in the Middle East as an evil omen). So, is a mule not living since it can't produce offspring, but then when it does, it's alive but it portends evil? How about viruses? They reproduce themselves, but don't engage in respiration, so what are they exactly? So, the American Indians may have had a really deep insight into western or white man consciousness: an Indian said that, "our people see everything as alive, but the white man sees everything as dead."
I think I would characterise viruses as packages of chemicals. They only reproduce using the mechanisms of other organisms.
All this illustrates the fact that orthodox science doesn't think it is a big deal to define what is life! Maybe in truth every cell has a link to something non-physical - just in order to live.
As a former chemist, the extraordinary thing about cells is that so many pretty reactive chemicals co-exist in them, and all the reactions happen without appreciable bi-products. In laboratory organic chemistry, you usually have to do a synthesis step by step, isolating and purifying each intermediate product before setting up for the next step - because otherwise you get masses of cross reactions and end up with something brown and gloopy that chemists know as 'tar'. This guy is a Christian, but you don't have to buy into that in order to appreciate what he is saying: