April 20, 2006 at 5:03 am #4516kenmaclean27Participant
Is immortality possible for a human? I state “for a human” in comparison to a gene. Dawkins was first to realise the genes’ quest for immortality, men and all living organisms being vessels allowing them to travel through eternity. There is no choice involved, genes obey to a force, which doesn’t exist, a strength which forces division and eternal struggle. If the genes had consciousness, would they consider themselves as gods or as slaves?
We humans do hold consciousness. Immortality has become settled in our minds since we first understood the concept of death. The after-life imposed itself as the answer to this need. Science, pain, pragmatism or a loss in the basis of faith made us look for a new solution, a biological solution.
Is immortality biologically possible? It is. Nothing contradicts this statement. If our cells develop from one cell to a baby, to a juvenile and to an adult, there is no reason why they cannot sustain one certain level of development if the right quantity and quality of molecules is ingested. But our genes have no benefit in having us live too long, their chance of propagation is greater if they transfer from vessel to vessel, adapting and improving the vessel along the way. If we had the power to create any genotype, and change a fundamental part of it, death, immortality would be in front of us, not available to us, but to our children
April 20, 2006 at 1:19 pm #46832baikuzaParticipant
i do not think so.quote :
i get it. when using tissue culture we wil not get 100% the same organism. because the unperfect dissassociation of the genes…and we still can not avoid it. but it is not 100% too that our DNA changed after the cell reproduction. so the term "..if they transfer ..improving the vessel along the way" is not abosolutely correct.quote :
but as we know, did you get the living thing not die?
we know that a living thing always has some chemical and physical mechanism in their cell(s).. but like another physical matter (e.g. gold, uranium, platina, coal) will be damaged by the time..even you put it in the box… because there is activities of chemical and physical mechanism.(this is not served in the space..exosphere.. because the only we can find there is non-living thing.. planet is nonliving thing, but inside its protective "shell" as in earth the is life on it)
soul is in another dimension.. far from this dimension. and there is no physical matter-soul is not physical matter- so that there is no death there
April 20, 2006 at 8:11 pm #46890quote kenmaclean27:
Nope, I’m afraid not. As baikuza stated, eventually, the very elements in your body would break down. It would take a very long time, but eventually it would catch up with you (in the entire history of the earth, we’ve only gone through one half life of carbon I believe, but it’ll still decay).
But a much faster effect would be the breaking down of your genetic material. At the end of every strand of DNA in your body is a segment called a telomere. In any cell that is not an embryonic stem cell (read: every cell in your body), each replication of genetic material results in a small segment being "snipped" off of the end. The DNA on a telomere is non-coding, so that’s not such a big deal. But after several decades of replication, cells will eventually begin to lose necessary genetic material. This will kill you.
April 21, 2006 at 9:05 am #46956
From a medical point of view, with the advent of modern medicine, we live much longer than our parents and grandparents. We will probably have children that live longer than we do, and so on.
However , as you noted, all living things have a limitted lifespan. The creator, super power, mother nature, God, or by whatever name you want to attach to him or her, has seen to it; that trees do not grow into heaven and all living tings must eventually die. This necesary for evolution to occur.
Even the death of species, is a must in order to propagate the remaining and evolving. A primary mechanism by which the process of aging takes place is by the breaking off of small particles of at the ends of chromosomes during the reproduction of your cells. That is, with each cell division a piece of chromosome is lost.
April 21, 2006 at 6:45 pm #47003
If you look at real life you can see that immortality is not possible. Well, yes, this is my opinion. Have a look at people, if they do not die of natural causes(such as heart failure) or other problems (like accidents), even if it is not genetic, they die because of cancer. I think (not only I of course some scientist think that too) that is something like a natural suicide mechanism made by the organism to itself. You can think that like (note that I said "like") apoptosis of cell. Something that is programmed. It may be something coded in your DNA. (just a guess)
April 22, 2006 at 12:45 am #47044AstusAleatorParticipant
Ah, but what about human cloning? If we could find a way to transfer our minds (the thoughts ect, not the physical brain) to new bodies, we could theoretically live forever.
April 22, 2006 at 6:31 am #47050
Well, that’s something of a cheat, but your consciousness would live on, and your body would be genetically the same all the time…
April 22, 2006 at 6:52 am #47054quote AstusAleator:
transfer our mind? we dont even had a clear idea what it is? ❓
April 22, 2006 at 4:23 pm #47066February BeetleParticipant
I have said this before on this forum so sorry if you’ve heard it before but when you clone something it doesn’t live any longer than the original being. Like Dolly was cloned from the DNA from a 2 yr old sheep, sheep usually die at age 5 of lung canser, Dolly died at age 3 of lung canser. (= 5 years). If you cloned yourself you better do it when you’re young. If you clone yourself at age 40 I bet your clone won’t live much longer than that.
This is due to the loss of the telomere as Khaiy has said.
So unless you are from Krypton under our orange sun here on Earth, no luck for you.
But, there is an article in my Scientific America that I haven’t read yet that talks about "unlocking the secrets of longevity genes, can DNA stop time?" So maybe if you could stop your cells from going through mitosis unless they really really needed to (?) If that is what you’re saying. Then you better have super strong cells or take very good care of yourself.
April 22, 2006 at 4:32 pm #47068
Of course immortality is biologically possible. Just look at plants- by our standards they are effectively immortal. There are two central (short-term) problems with living for a great amount of time I can think of- disease-causing bacteria/viruses, and cancer. The problem with disease is that viruses and bacteria are going to keep evolving, where as you are not. This can be solved by the fact that human technology also evolves- new methods for fighting disease are created all the time. More drastically, you could do some directly artificial evolution- namely, gene therapy.
Cancer would be a little more tricky to solve (obviously -_-) but human technology is getting pretty good! The basic problem is a biochemical mechanism of differentiating between cancer cells and good cells, and then eliminating those cancer cells.
As for the simple degenerative aging process itself, I suspect it is just a side-effect. The probability of a human in a natural environment living up to the age at which the effects take place is so slim that evolution could effectively ignore it. It’s only a matter of time before we solve it!
On a longer scale- i.e breakdown of genetic material, and ultimately the atoms from which your body is made- the solution is of course to create a sophisticated repair mechanism for these breakdowns. I suspect you could do this via genetic engineering (retroviruses which insert your own code back into your cells?) or nanomachines. Much more sophisticated technology would be required for such problems, of course, but by the time it becomes a problem hopefully technology will have advanced sufficiently to solve them!
April 22, 2006 at 5:18 pm #47071
nanobots to repair everything ;). But then again do we really want to live forever?
April 22, 2006 at 7:27 pm #47078quote AstusAleator:
But that organism is not "you".
And I don’t think anybody wants to live forever.
April 23, 2006 at 5:07 am #47095
Anyone who doesn’t want to live forever clearly doesn’t have a very good idea of what death entails!
April 23, 2006 at 9:17 am #47104quote Poison:
i want to 😆 😆
April 23, 2006 at 10:11 am #47111quote Poison:
if u could transfer the mind, would it be you, or just another person thinking the same way as you?
because he say transfer not clon your mind
April 23, 2006 at 11:15 am #47112quote kabuto:
If it thinks like you and has the same knowledge as you, it /is/ you. You can’t define identity otherwise.
April 23, 2006 at 2:16 pm #47124February BeetleParticipantquote Zeneth Entorion:
Death is part of living. Sure I would like to live longer like, maybe 200 years? But I wouldn’t want to live too much longer than that. I think it depends on your thoughts about what DOES happen after death. Have you read any Elisabeth Kubler-Ross?
Haven’t we learned anything from Saturday morning cartoons? There is always an immortal guy walking around regreting becoming immortal.
April 23, 2006 at 2:44 pm #47126
Some religious people don’t regard themselves as gods and shouldn’t live forever. And if you’re into existentialist literature, many consider life to be an agonizing journey.
April 24, 2006 at 12:42 am #47175alextempletParticipantquote mithrilhack:
Ugh, boy is it ever!
April 24, 2006 at 5:01 am #47197
I’d like to sidestep the philosophical implications of this topic, though they are interesting I’m sure.
Yes individual elements have a half life, but we retain very few of the specific atoms in our body over time; our "substance throughput" is enormous.
Living "forever" is certainly possible, but it would require quite a lot of therapy, and it may be much harder to do for existing beings than genetically engineered organisms. It may be rather improbable, due to "accidents", but by no means impossible.
Aubrey de Grey is a very prominent and promising researcher in this area, imo.
Sure, the universe itself may end one day end in the "big crunch" or whatever it is physicists call it, but if sentient beings continue to evolve, along with culture, I’m sure that even an obstacle of that magnitude may have a chance of being side stepped in some fashion.
April 24, 2006 at 5:09 am #47198quote Poison:
Yes, and I think once we realize this, it is much easier to forget one’s fear of death. I don’t mean to sound like a downer, but once you begin to think of yourself as nothing more than a complex machine, with your memories as your data, fearing death (at least on an active and philisophical basis) becomes much more difficult.
April 24, 2006 at 11:56 am #47211baikuzaParticipant
nanobots? mm… how many cell we have? million.
i think it may take a long time to do it. (~_~)
April 24, 2006 at 1:40 pm #47226
are there any immortal organism ❓
April 24, 2006 at 5:22 pm #47255
It depends on what you define as "immortal". A single cell organism can be considered as immortal. You know, it does not die as we do.
Also plants’ growth are theoritically considered as infinitive, so in that perspective they may be considered as immortal. 🙂quote :
I know this is not such a biological thing but what about soul? How to transfer/clone that? 😉
April 24, 2006 at 6:08 pm #47270quote Poison:
I used to think that there was an epimorphic map from physical minds to souls 😳 Yeah I’m a nerd.
April 25, 2006 at 7:37 am #47321
Is it possible to live forever ? Well, honestly, you have to define "live" and "forever" to get a good answer.
First of all, in order to live beyond a reasonable lifespan, let’s say, one hundred years, you’d have to have some organs replaced, and probably all of them over time.
Let’s say you do, and have everything replaced, including your brain. Are you still you ? Are you still "living" ?
Let’s assume that medicine finds away to simply reverse damage and ageing.
You could be around for one thousand years.
Wouldn’t you get tired ? Wouldn’t you start to miss all of those loved ones who didn’t make it ?
I believe, as do a great many people, that we do live forever. We die, but our soul lives on, going to another life or maybe reincarnating here.
Eventually, you may find, as I have, that the real question is that of time.
How long do we get ? Who knows. Don’t worry about it, time doesn’t matter, time is irrelevant, only living your life to the fullest is what matters.
April 26, 2006 at 12:08 am #47375
And I think it also promotes greed and selfishness.
April 26, 2006 at 10:12 am #47391quote kiekyon:
Meaningless questions. "living" and "same" are not absolute properties; they are words used for vague communication. So long yourself and the people you are conversing with believe you to be alive and the `same person’, that is all that matters.quote kiekyon:
Ideally your loved ones would live for as long as you. Otherwise, you make new ones. People get over the deaths of their loved ones.quote kiekyon:
The `soul’ concept is an outdated one; we now have a good understanding of how neural nets function. The brain is a very complicated piece of machinery, yes, but it obeys the standard laws of physics.quote kiekyon:
The more time you have, the more `full’ a life you can have. There are an innumerable number of things people simply don’t have time to do in their current lifespan.
April 27, 2006 at 3:07 am #47449quote Zeneth Entorion:
While the brain has its role in emotions, intellect, and will, and while people’s bodies are essential, we must always remember that the person is the ultimate unit of analysis: you, me. Thought, feeling, action (involving the body, as well as relations to others) are ultimately dimensions of the person. And it is the soul that combines all the dimensions of the person to form one life. It is like a computer system that runs an entire commercial operation.
April 27, 2006 at 5:59 am #47450MartianParticipantquote Zeneth Entorion:
Not necessarily. You could live forever in a prison, being kept alive and having no happiness. That is not very full. But living forever would give one plenty of time to do whatever is needed to make life "full."
But other than that, I agree with what you said, Zeneth.quote kiekyon:
Time is very relevant, IMO. If time were to go away, the brain wouldn’t operate and living wouldn’t have anymore meaning because there wouldn’t be any more thought to worry about it.
I believe that immortality is completely plausible with biology. Many people here have said that it wouldn’t work because DNA gets shorter every time it’s used, and it will eventually be nonfunctional. True. But is this necessary? I think not. Eventually, there will be a way to avoid this issue through biological engineering, I think.
I also think that if people had a way of being immortal, they would go through with it. You can never have enough time. 😉quote mithrilhack:
And yes, this would probably lead to greed and other selfish things. No problem. This is you: the most important person. You’ll do what you have to. 😀
But think for a moment. What would you think about death/ending of life, if you grew up never hearing of such rubbish in the first place. 8) I mean, what if you heard of death after you were immortal. Would you still choose death over a life that would go on forever? Because it seems to me that most people have come to accept death through religion and stuff like that because it is believed to be a necessary thing (it probably is though).
That’s what I think. Correct me if I’m wrong.
April 27, 2006 at 2:13 pm #47483MartianParticipant
^^ Whoa, did I post that?
April 27, 2006 at 2:14 pm #47484quote kiekyon:
the matter of soul is something which science cannot debate. It is a matter of belief and faith more than fact and hypotheses. Science uses a set of methodologies that enables scientists to study a wide varieties of natural phenomenon. It relies however on human senses like smell, touch, sight, taste, etc. If something is too small to be observed, we invent something to make it bigger (a microscope)… if something is too far away, we make something to make it appear nearer (a telescope). If we can’t see it with our eyes, we devise something that make it visible to our limited eyesight (an IR camera, an oscilloscope, etc). Science must however rely on senses and cannot study something that is invisible, immaterial, with no smell, and no characteristic sound. Therefore, the matter of a soul will probably never be resolved by science.
But! it doesn’t mean it does not exist! It only means that science cannot study it and prove its existence within the confine of its criterias.
April 29, 2006 at 1:01 pm #47605quote kabuto:
If something cannot be interacted with, it does not exist. We define existence by the ability of something to interact with its environment. I can say that there is a host of invisible, immaterial purply monsters of doom sitting on my roof which can’t be detected in any way, and it would have the same degree of truth as this invisible, immaterial soul nonsense.
Either it does interact with reality, in which case we can scientifically verify and create laws governing this interaction, or it does not, in which case it does not exist. End of story.
April 30, 2006 at 12:57 pm #47649PepperParticipant
I think immortality is a rather inevitable situation.
In the future (remote future) we will come to realise the severe limitations of a strictly biological existence. Bodies are a liability, they are also severely limited in their abilities.
Bio-mechanical or purely synthetic bodies and brains will be the norm in the distant future. Maybe not even human-like at all in their body plan. Perhaps even physical existence itself will be shunned by some … living forever in a computer simulation is also a possibility.
People in the future will not have the same moral qualms and sense of "distaste" that this might have for us today. Remember all the moral issues over heart transplants?
May 1, 2006 at 2:54 am #47678
That doesn’t necessarily mean that as time passes people give up all morals. There’s still a moral stance against murder (well, generally), which has been around as long as humanity itself. But we can’t predict for certain what will happen in the future. Besides, immortality would create some pretty serious space limitations– at some point, someone may want to have offspring, and if nobody ever dies then that means that whatever resoruces we need will be stretched that much thinner.
May 1, 2006 at 5:38 am #47690PepperParticipant
I didn’t mean that they would give up all morals.
I simply meant that in the future cutting all links with our biological past and moving into a new phase of humanity would not be the ethical/moral issue that would be for us today.
Also, colonising the entire galaxy would be relatively easy. Plenty of resources.
May 2, 2006 at 5:19 pm #47771k3nz3nParticipant
in the human genome there is something called telomeres which will degenerate everytime DNA replicates.. it is made up of i LOADS of repeat bases and it is not actually known what it is for.. it is theorized that each time that the DNA replicates, the telomeres will degrade.. hence more DNA replication more telomeres are gone..
as people age, they replicate their DNA millions of times and maybe thats why we grow ‘older’.. i dunno.. i wonder if we can extend our telemere’s in our body so that it does not degrade, i wonder whether or not we can live longer.. definitely not immortal, but just longer..
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