Lithbea, A New Domain outside the Tree of Life

Gomez-Marquez, J. Lithbea, A New Domain outside the Tree of Life . Preprints 2022, 2022060094 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202206.0094.v1)

As synthetic/artificial life forms become more abundant and sophisticated, an increasing number of bizarre creatures – xenobots, robots, soft A-life entities, genetically engineered organisms, etc. – are invading our society. Therefore, we need to bring order to all this, to establish what is living and what is not. Here, I intend to classify all these non-natural entities and clarify their status with reference to their consideration or not as living beings, leaving the door open to an uncertain future in which perhaps we can see how “the artificial” and “the natural” merge to originate something new. To order all this “new biodiversity” and to also give entry to viruses (which are excluded of the three-domains tree of life), I propose the creation of a new domain, Lithbea (from the name: life-in-the-border entities), in which all these new human-made entities as well as the viruses will be included. Within this domain there would be two kingdoms, Virus and Humade (contraction of human-made), based on their origin, natural or human-made. A brief description of each component of Lithbea is included and the implications for society and biology of this “new biodiversity” is briefly discussed.

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