Archives for posts with tag: death
Named after the Ancient Greek mythological serpent, the freshwater hydra has a remarkable ability to regenerate (Credit: Natural Visions/Alamy)

Just finished reading a very interesting article on BBC.com/future. Why do we die. Authored by William Park.
Just click on the picture above and read it.

Despite the “we” in the title, it’s a compendium of plausible explanations for why most individual organisms eventually die. And an interesting row of examples of species comprised of individuals which live practically for ever.

Here’s another explanation.

Charles Darwin’s Evolution was about ‘species’. Not about individuals!

Very few species have been able to survive without ‘killing’ their individual ‘members’.
Hydra, the species of fresh water jellyfish pictured above, is one of those species. Each individual hydra is able to survive practically everything but total annihilation. Cut it into pieces and each piece would regenerate the rest of the organism. Allow a big enough (?!?) piece of it to survive while attempting to eat a hydra… and you may be able to eat it again! If you live long enough for the encounter to happen again…

Since when have we been observing this species? A hundred years? Two hundred? Have we had preserved an individual hydra since the start of our observations? Is is still alive? In the ‘original form’?
And even if ‘yes’, so what? That would only prove that an individual hydra is able to survive for more than, say, two hundred years. Not that it would live forever….
Again, being able to regenerate a portion of an organism doesn’t mean the whole organism would be able to live indefinitely. As in live forever. Never die…
The way I see it, being able to regenerate the rest of the organism is only yet another form of ‘reproduction’, not the ability to live forever. Bacteria use the very same mechanism. We the ones who use a different name for it, under the pretext that bacteria are unicellular organisms…

Now, the fact that there are so few species whose individual members are able to regenerate parts of their organisms does tell us something.
And the fact that it’s only the ‘simply organized’ species – among the animal kingdom, at least – which share this ability must surely mean something. Evolutionary wise!

Studying death as “a way to improve the lives of the living”!

That’s a road well worth traveling to the end! Pun intended, of course.

Here’s my take on the subject:

Evolutionary speaking, death is more important than life.
‘Normal’ organisms – except humans, that is, cannot evolve while alive.
As Darwin put it, we have the evolution of the Species, not that of the individuals.
Hence, for evolution to function – for life to survive change, individual organisms must ‘make space’ for the next generations.
We, humans, are the first who can adapt individually. And how do we use that skill? Attempt to live forever?
“And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
Let’s assume that would be possible. Who would ‘make’ children anymore? Why? To have someone to serve them?
Who would ‘pass the baton’, willingly, knowing they still have a ‘lifetime’ ahead of them?
I could go on forever…

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking forward to breathing in my last gulp of air. I’m afraid of that ‘transition’, and even more so of what may happen in the moments before. But I find the whole thing to be perfectly normal!

https://bigthink.com/life/death
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+3&version=KJV

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As much as I love writing, I do have to eat.
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If you’d like me to write more, and on a more regular basis, hit the button.
Your contribution will be appreciated!

As much as I love writing, I do have to eat.
And to provide for my family.
Earning money takes time.
If you’d like me to write more, and on a more regular basis, hit the button.
Your contribution will be appreciated!

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The sole difference between the living and the non-living is the fact that only the living is able to die.

Which death is the prerequisite for evolution!

A good place to start understanding what Covid had done to us is the cemetery.

A man had died. A good man had died.
Of old age. Covid had nothing to do with it.

But his beloved wife, and one of his daughters, could not attend his funeral service. They had tested positive while he was in hospital.

On the other hand…
On my way home, I stopped by to see an old friend. He lives alone and has a rather frail health. No relatives and, due to his relativelly old age, only a couple of able-bodied friends.
It’s a good thing that we have phones. If I’ll ever be quarantined simultaneously with his other friend, he’ll depend exclusivelly on delivery services….

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