|Live, reproduce, die|
|Life as we know it|
|Divide and multiply|
|Greatest Great Apes|
“”When there pass before our eyes examples such as these, so frequent and so ordinary, how can we ever rid ourselves of thoughts of death or stop imagining that death has us by the scruff of the neck at every moment?
|—Michel de Montaigne:95|
Several plants also seem to have no age limit with some of the oldest examples found, such as the "Pando" clonal colony of quaking aspen in Utah, reaching tens of thousands of years old.
This view is that you can achieve a form of immortality through your genes being passed on to your children and through them, others. The downsides are how you will likely be forgotten after four or five generations and your descendants will quickly be as similar to you as you are to anybody else.
Make people remember your name (if not you)
foreverfor longer than otherwise through good or bad deeds such as exemplary military service, political works, terrorist acts, artistic triumphs, etc. This can quickly fall into "The person they are remembering is barely a shadow of what they were". Woody Allen had this to say: "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work… I want to achieve it through not dying."
Desirability of immortality
Some traditions (such as Christianity) regard immortality favorably as a worthwhile goal. Greek mythology, on the other hand, which featured a separate privileged class of immortals (gods and demi-gods), warned against the hubris of average humans aspiring to better their status in stories such as that of Prometheus, and portrayed the disadvantages of eternal punishment, as in the tale of Tantalus.
People who claimed to be immortal
- Leonard Jones (June 4, 1924–June 23, 1998)
- Count of St. Germain (born circa. 1691/1712–died 27 February 1784)
- Michel de Montaigne: The Complete Essays translated and edited by M. A. Screech (1991) Penguin Books. ISBN 0140446044.
- Discover magazine: "Based on evidence such as the resemblance of some aspen clone leaves to fossilized ones, Burton Barnes of the University of Michigan has suggested that aspen clones in the western United States may reach the age of a million years or more. In principle, clones may even be essentially immortal, dying only from disease or the deterioration of the environment rather than from some internal clock."
- See the Wikipedia article on Prometheus.
- See the Wikipedia article on Tantalus.