From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

It's hard to say something died when part of it lives on. This would apply to people, I suppose, if they have children... PoorEd 10:57, 22 February 2008 (EST)

Well, sort of (it could apply to all RNA/DNA-based life on earth, too), but puppies are gnetically unique and distinct from their parents. Buds, "layer" propagations, and mitosis (of single cells) yield "offspring" identical to the "parent", and also, was actually "part" of the parent for a while. In the case of single cell propagation, in a sense, the "mother" doesn't really disappear but becomes two of itself. While I agree in a sense, philosophically, I still think the disinction holds. But feel free to improve it if I'm wrong ;) humanUser talk:Human 13:55, 22 February 2008 (EST)
My point exactly. When we have children, "a part of us lives on", not an identical copy of us. For accuracy you might want to reword or leave out the ending.PoorEd 14:02, 22 February 2008 (EST)


I believe that with new technology, death could disappear from the world by the end of this century, assuming that Man does not destroy himself prior. In the near future, it will be possible to replace organs and neurons via stem cells, to replace organs with electronic counterparts, so that consciousness persists indefinitely. Man could truly live forever: the dream of immortality has been chased for millennia on end, and we are about to finally catch with it. Discuss. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 03:02, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

This should probably be in the debate or forum sections. Sam Tally-ho! 03:06, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Everyone is going to die, and it would be wise to continue assuming that everybody is going to continue dying so long as humanity exists. And there is nothing that we can do about. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 03:34, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Even if people could keep changing out their bodies to keep their consciousness around, their mind is going to continue to age (and probably eventually go insane) until it's effectively dead. Sam Tally-ho! 05:33, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Indefinite lifespans are possible at the end of this century, but true immortality will never occur (unless one somehow alters the laws of physics and probability).RATIONAL MUNDANE++ (talk) 12:59, 18 March 2020 (UTC)

What is the quote - people who want an immortal afterlife but don't know what to do with a wet Sunday afternoon? Anna Livia (talk) 15:04, 18 March 2020 (UTC)

Immortal jellyfish[edit]

I dunno, is there any way we could get the immortal "jellyfish" Turritopsis nutricula (actually a hydrozoan) mentioned in the article? Being able to grow up, have kids, turn into a kid yourself, and repeat the process ad infinitum is pretty neat. Not sure how to do so (add T. nutricula into the article, not become a cnidarian) myself. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 18:37, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Living forever would suck. Also, its only biological immortal and can still die pretty easily. --il'Dictator Mikal 18:48, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
To the former, that's an opinion: the thought of being unconscious forever, although I know by definition I wouldn't care if I was in such a state, doesn't appeal to me with my current mind-frame. Like how being high on Jesus juice doesn't appeal to me with my current (and mostly life-long) mind-frame of logic and evidence, but if I were a fundy loon, I wouldn't have any aversion to the notion. To the latter, well no shit, Sherlock. It can get eaten like any other plankton, starved, dehydrated, exploded, &c. But if we were to just put it in a tank on its own where all its basic needs are met, it would live forever without aging. Yeah, that's biological immortality, but still: it's worth mentioning, IMHO. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 01:47, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
On the contrary, immortality is the "natural" state of being. Aging is a genetic error that will hopefully be corrected in our lifetimes. Absolute immortality (in other words being able to survive being transported to the center of the sun) might be bad, but I see no problems with an indefinite lifespan. Mr. Anon (talk) 01:50, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
If aging is not natural, then why is it so prevalent in nature? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:56, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
@Anon It's Pretty obvious aging isn't a defect so much as a natural consequence of how things are. Aging being removed from the species to create an indef. lifespan is in so many levels, not desirable, for practical reasons of resources and space. @HBK, i subscribe to the concept many writers use for immortal species: They become lazy and stagnant, for the simple fact "well, im not dying, why bother doing anything." --il'Dictator Mikal 02:44, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Aging is an error (or rather the sum of errors) in our DNA. There's no law of nature that says we have to age, and the presence of creatures like Crocodiles and Turtles that do not age proves this. Mr. Anon (talk) 04:30, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
-cursory search of the wikipedia article indicts crocodiles do infact age, as do turtles- ???--il'Dictator Mikal 04:47, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
They age by growing, but their cells don't decay like mammals. Note that this doesn't make them immortal, as they are still susceptible to disease. Nobody knows how long they can live in captivity. Mr. Anon (talk) 01:31, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
citation needed Тytalk 01:32, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I have a source, but I'd rather not bring it up here. In fact, I'll just retract that statement and say that the presence of biologically immortal organisms alone debunks the idea that finite lifespan is necessary. Mr. Anon (talk) 01:36, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
The one example (the jellyfish) does it in a way that means it reverts itself to a earlier stage of life, which is not very great evidence aging is not a inherent part of life. --il'Dictator Mikal 02:17, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Aging isn't a defect, but it's not an inevitable fact of life, either; it's just an expedient way that evolution came up with for adapting organisms to changing environments. Instead of individual organisms evolving to adapt to their environments, their genome stays static throughout life and then they get thrown away and replaced with a slight variation. It's conceivable that multicellular life could slowly change its genome so that individuals could survive indefinitely as their environments changed, but that's not what happened. Maybe by replacing slow aimless evolution with fast directed technological advancement, we can change that and become immortal. Or maybe not. Hmmph (talk) 02:11, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
About half of all people in developed countries die of cancer. Aging is one way of killing cells that grow too rapidly. (talk) 07:30, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

On death anxiety[edit]

A section outlining death anxiety should be added, as it can be easily poked fun at while discussed seriously, furthermore, it can be philosophically analyzed and is a common occurence. — Unsigned, by: / talk