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Thread: Why do we die?

  1. #21
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    Senescence, of course. I guess you're really asking why our bodies are programmed to engage in the inevitable decay of cells. Yes?
    Yes. I don't know why this mechanism would ever evolve. I would think bodies would try to maintain it's physical and reproductive peak indefinitely until it dies.



  2. #22
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    However your initial point involved an "immortal" class without a desirable survival trait vs. a mortal class with one.
    I did? The point was that being immortal means non adaptive, which is a emergent survival "trait". The trait of being non-adapative and hitting the resource barrier earlier is an inherent quality of immortality. Put simply - it is not efficient to live forever and nature drive inefficiencies to extinction.

  3. #23
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I did? The point was that being immortal means non adaptive, which is a emergent survival "trait". The trait of being non-adapative and hitting the resource barrier earlier is an inherent quality of immortality. Put simply - it is not efficient to live forever and nature drive inefficiencies to extinction.
    I don't see how you can say that a being without an inherent death mechanism is by definition not adaptive. Capacity to deal with a change in surroundings is predetermined genetically. Your physiology will either be able to deal with the change, or it will not. Also, there would be genetic differentiation among the immortal group just as there would be among the mortal group. Again, I don't see how the likelihood of owning a survival trait would be more common among a mortal group than an immortal one. It's relatively unrelated. If anything, during periods when the immortal group is selected as the "best" mate and preferred, their offspring will be more numerous because they would retain optimal reproductive ability longer. A larger pool also supposes larger differentiation, further increasing the likelihood the immortal group is better prepared to present a survival trait when the environment changes.



  4. #24
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    An immortal group is going to fill up its biological niche more quickly than a mortal group because resources are limited, unless they slow their rate of reproduction. You're then going to have a different mechanism for selection, one which doesn't necessarily promote the long-term survival of the species.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #25
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    I don't see how you can say that a being without an inherent death mechanism is by definition not adaptive.
    Think of it in reverse:

    If a gene is immortal, why have children? (Forget about people, just think of the genes)

  6. #26
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Immortal in the sense that I am using it does not mean something that the environment cannot destroy. Obviously, said organism can be eaten by a tiger or fall down a cliff, however his body will not begin to shut itself down after a period of time.

    And any lifeform procreates, that's why it's alive and not a rock. I'm not sure what you're getting at.



  7. #27
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    And any lifeform procreates, that's why it's alive and not a rock. I'm not sure what you're getting at.
    I'm not really sure how I can explain what I'm saying, I'm afraid.

    All I can say is that the fitness of the individual does not take precedence over the group in evolution, and I believe this is such a case. It's the case even in cellular life, and we make use of planned obsolescence in a similar way. I believe it is about diversity - finite resources and interbreeding, along with the implications on adaption.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    Yes. I don't know why this mechanism would ever evolve. I would think bodies would try to maintain it's physical and reproductive peak indefinitely until it dies.
    Why does programmed cell death, or apoptosis, occur? Does it take place among bacteria and fungi or only in the cells of higher organisms? : Scientific American



    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    All I can say is that the fitness of the individual does not take precedence over the group in evolution, and I believe this is such a case. It's the case even in cellular life, and we make use of planned obsolescence in a similar way. I believe it is about diversity - finite resources and interbreeding, along with the implications on adaption.
    I agree.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Noel's Avatar
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    I feel a great comfort in knowing that my body may potentially provide nutrients for a young blossoming tree to grow or a sustaining foraging animal's appetite for a time. Nevermind coffins. They simply affirm ones existence as apart rather than a part of continuity. I've taken from the earth and I want to give my nutrients to it.
    I may be bested in battle, but I shall never be defeated.

  10. #30
    violaine
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    ^Wow, this is exactly the way I comfort myself about the eventuality of death.

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