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Thread: Why do we die?

  1. #71
    Senior Member Wade Wilson's Avatar
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    Because the dinosaurs touched themselves at night.
    I know a girl, she's one of a kind
    But the poor little thing, she's going out of her mind
    There's something you forgot - there's a reason why she's lost
    Cos baby she don't want to be found

  2. #72
    Senior Member FC3S's Avatar
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    We die because we're born, simple enough? We aren't even alive.
    ESTP - Definition: "Love" is making a shot to the knees of a target a 120 km away, with an aratech sniper rifle and tri-light scope.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #73
    Senior Member iamathousandapples's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by persianness View Post
    ... For God's Sake, can the members of the same 'species' STOP calling ourselves 'species'? Sounds retarded.

    We're human, and very much 'different' to the animals - and there are your so-called 'species'.

    "We wear pants, therefore we're better"

  4. #74
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Interesting article I found today, curious to see what people think, as it references a biological mechanism for "death" and why the hell it should be there.

    Is Aging an Accident of Evolution? -A Galaxy Classic

    Their discovery contradicts the prevailing theory that aging is a buildup of tissue damage similar to rust. The Stanford findings suggest specific genetic instructions drive the process. If they are right, science might one day find ways of switching the signals off and halting or even reversing aging.

    ...

    Comparing young worms to old worms, Kimís team discovered age-related shifts in levels of three transcription factors, the molecular switches that turn genes on and off. These shifts trigger genetic pathways that transform young worms into social security candidates.

    ...

    The question of what causes aging has spawned competing schools, with one side claiming that inborn genetic programs make organisms grow old. This theory has had trouble gaining traction because it implies that aging evolved, that natural selection pushed older organisms down a path of deterioration. However, natural selection works by favoring genes that help organisms produce lots of offspring. After reproduction ends, genes are beyond natural selectionís reach, so scientists argued that aging couldnít be genetically programmed.

    The alternate, competing theory holds that aging is an inevitable consequence of accumulated wear and tear: toxins, free-radical molecules, DNA-damaging radiation, disease and stress ravage the body to the point it canít rebound. So far, this theory has dominated aging research.


    ...


    But the Stanford teamís findings told a different story. ďOur data just didnít fit the current model of damage accumulation, and so we had to consider the alternative model of developmental drift,Ē Kim said.



  5. #75
    full of love Kingfisher's Avatar
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    i think that we die just to keep the world from becoming stagnant. if the world is always getting repopulated with new people with new ways of thinking and new ways of living, then life will will not fall into a rut or pattern.

  6. #76
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    Interesting article I found today, curious to see what people think, as it references a biological mechanism for "death" and why the hell it should be there.

    Is Aging an Accident of Evolution? -A Galaxy Classic
    Interesting bit, but it didn't really theorize why one would evolve a death trigger, only that this may be the case, which was already a consideration.

    I'm still going to stick by my theory that reproductive cycles are optimized for average lifespans in the wild, so the body has embraced numerous genetic shortcuts that help in the short term without care for afterwards. I doubt it would be so simple as to be one gene or or even several genes ... if so, we should have seen at least a few mutations in some species that allowed an immortal exception to the rule.

    Which is a shame... I think it would be fantastically interesting to have even a few individuals around who have lived centuries. I wonder how they would be treated, and how their minds would deal with continued decades of experiences. Would they be sane? Would their perspective shift dramatically? Or perhaps they would quickly reach the limits of their memory and simply forget most events past a generation ago.

  7. #77
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    Our death is neccessary. We start out with out maximum energy at birth, and our vital organs, because nothing can be perputal begin to decay; Eventually this decay leads to critical failures, and we die. There are lots of ways to speed up the process.

  8. #78
    Member shimsham's Avatar
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    I tend to think of it in terms of trade-offs (or, antagonistic pleiotropy).

    Basically, natural selection favors individuals that produce the most offspring. Genes that increase an individual's fecundity (number of offspring) often do so at a price, with many detrimental effects such as cancer, senescence, etc. happening later in life. But, because old age and senescence happen after we've already reproduced, these genes are passed on to the next generation, despite the fact that they make us age and die.

    In essence, selection cannot act against genes that reveal themselves as "bad" only after we've already reproduced. Since individuals in a species are competing to produce the most offspring and guarantee that their genes move on to the next generation, there is no selective pressure for individuals to live forever, if they can merely generate as many offspring as possible.

    But, there are organisms that technically don't die. Clonal species (~asexually reproducing) may stretch our understanding of what an individual is, but they technically don't die (barring natural disasters, a disease sweeping through, etc). Individual cells will die, but they are replaced by genetic duplicates, so the overall organism survives. This is the case with many bacteria, some plants, and some animals (such as sponges).

  9. #79
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Because we produce offspring. If we could produce offspring and not die, we'd infinitely multiply. Even with death, our population is getting out of control. Much higher than it was many years ago.

    I believe, without much justification, that the key to eliminating death and aging, is for people to somehow change their primary function from it's current state and stop reproducing. To remove one side (death/aging), you must take away the other (births). Essentially, a being programmed primarily to reproduce should and must die. To even be fit to conquer death, we would need to reprogram ourselves to have another primary purpose, such as self-improvement.

    But as long as people with the original program still exist, it won't work...

  10. #80
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I believe, without much justification, that the key to eliminating death and aging, is for people to somehow change their primary function from it's current state and stop reproducing. To remove one side (death/aging), you must take away the other (births). Essentially, a being programmed primarily to reproduce should and must die. To even be fit to conquer death, we would need to reprogram ourselves to have another primary purpose, such as self-improvement.
    So if we stop having children we've taken the first step to becoming immortal.

    ...

    How does that make any sense at all.

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