Why is a motor car not considered a living thing?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The best way to answer this question is to list out the characteristics of living things and then decide which of those characteristics an automobile doesn't have.  

The six characteristics of living things are as follows:

  1. Living things are made of cells
  2. Living things have DNA
  3. Living things respond to their environment
  4. Living things obtain and use energy
  5. Living things can reproduce
  6. Living things grow and develop

Based on those characteristics, an automobile is not a living thing, because it is not capable of reproducing. Vehicles can be reproduced through manufacturing, but the vehicle itself isn't capable of creating a new car or a copy of itself through sexual or asexual reproduction.

Vehicles are not made of cells, nor do they contain DNA. 

Vehicles are not capable of responding to the environment. The environment may provide various stimuli to the vehicle, but the vehicle will not respond unless given a command by an operator. 

Vehicles do use energy, but they are not capable of obtaining their own energy. An operator must provide the fuel for the car. 

Vehicles also do not grow and develop. They don't get bigger, nor do they become more complex by developing new or altered systems. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team