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Biological immortality

PetersSmith
Posts: 5,859
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4/29/2016 8:40:38 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Immortality is the ability to live forever or eternal life. Natural selection has developed potential biological immortality in at least one species, Turritopsis dohrnii. However, is it possible that humans will one day achieve immortality? Certain scientists, futurists, and philosophers have theorized that human immortality is achievable in the first few decades of the 21st century, whereas other advocates believe that life extension is a more achievable goal in the short term, with immortality awaiting further research breakthroughs into an indefinite future.

However, let's talk about biological immortality. Several prospects have been theorized, such as the following:

1. Life-extending substances: There are some known naturally occurring and artificially produced chemicals that may increase the lifetime or life-expectancy of a person or organism, such as resveratrol. Some scientists believe that boosting the amount or proportion of in the body of telomerase could prevent cells from dying and so may ultimately lead to extended, healthier lifespans. With the presence of telomerase, each dividing cell can replace the lost bit of DNA, and any single cell can then divide unbounded.

2. Technological immortality: technological immortality is the prospect for much longer life spans made possible by scientific advances in a variety of fields: nanotechnology, emergency room procedures, genetics, biological engineering, regenerative medicine, microbiology, and others. Tiny medical nanorobots could be created to go through human bloodstreams, find dangerous things like cancer cells and bacteria, and destroy them. Some believe that gene-therapies and nanotechnology will eventually make the human body effectively self-sustainable and capable of living indefinitely in empty space, short of severe brain trauma.

3. Cryonics: the practice of preserving organisms for possible future revival by storing them at cryogenic temperatures where metabolism and decay are almost completely stopped, can be used to 'pause' for those who believe that life extension technologies will not develop sufficiently within their lifetime. Ideally, cryonics would allow clinically dead people to be brought back in the future after cures to the patients' diseases have been discovered and aging is reversible.

4. Mind-to-computer uploading: one idea that has been advanced involves uploading an individual's habits and memories via direct mind-computer interface. The individual's memory may be loaded to a computer or to a new organic body, thus existing indefinitely in a virtual environment.

5. Cybernetics: transforming a human into a cyborg can include brain implants or extracting a human processing unit and placing it in a robotic life-support system. Some people believe that such modifications would make one impervious to aging and disease and theoretically immortal unless killed or destroyed.

6. Evolutionary immortality: holds that human biological immortality is an inevitable consequence of evolution. The evolution of the human brain as we know it will cease and there will be no need for individuals to procreate and then die. Instead, a new type of development will take over, in the same individual who will have to live for many centuries in order for the development to take place.

So, do you think any of these theories (or some other ones) are achievable? Which one do you think makes the most sense? Do you think that, if it were achievable, should humans even allow it? Should we choose who becomes immortal or not? Or should we just focus on "curing" senescence (biological aging)? Or just immunity to all diseases? Would you want to be immortal? Discuss.
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user13579
Posts: 822
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4/29/2016 9:14:58 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
second law of thermodynamics
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
Aran55633
Posts: 110
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4/29/2016 9:53:53 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/29/2016 9:14:58 PM, user13579 wrote:
second law of thermodynamics doesn't apply here, because the second law of thermodynamics is only applicable when dealing with an isolated system, and the human body isn't an isolated system

Fixed.
user13579
Posts: 822
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4/29/2016 9:58:22 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Really? So now perpetual motion machines are possible. And I guess the heat death of the universe isn't anything to worry about either.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
user13579
Posts: 822
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4/29/2016 10:01:37 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
So you better fix it again, because any device you use to give yourself immortality is basically a perpetual motion machine of some kind.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
Aran55633
Posts: 110
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4/29/2016 10:14:27 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/29/2016 9:58:22 PM, user13579 wrote:
Really? So now perpetual motion machines are possible. And I guess the heat death of the universe isn't anything to worry about either.

I'm obviously not about to suggest that anything Petersmith mentioned would allow us to survive the heat death of the universe, aaaannnd. . . perpetual motion machines have nothing to do with this discussion. But you can go off into whatever tangent you want, the point still remains.
user13579
Posts: 822
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4/29/2016 10:17:14 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/29/2016 10:14:27 PM, Aran55633 wrote:
At 4/29/2016 9:58:22 PM, user13579 wrote:
Really? So now perpetual motion machines are possible. And I guess the heat death of the universe isn't anything to worry about either.

I'm obviously not about to suggest that anything Petersmith mentioned would allow us to survive the heat death of the universe, aaaannnd. . . perpetual motion machines have nothing to do with this discussion. But you can go off into whatever tangent you want, the point still remains.

This has exactly to do with perpetual motion machines! You want to turn a human body into a perpetual motion machine. You would need the energy from the entire universe, and then you have to worry about entropy. And then you have to worry about the heat death of the universe. And then you have to worry about quantum fluctuations that can make you go "poof". You're talking immortality here right? Not just "really long life"?
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
Aran55633
Posts: 110
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4/29/2016 10:34:25 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/29/2016 10:17:14 PM, user13579 wrote:
At 4/29/2016 10:14:27 PM, Aran55633 wrote:
At 4/29/2016 9:58:22 PM, user13579 wrote:
Really? So now perpetual motion machines are possible. And I guess the heat death of the universe isn't anything to worry about either.

I'm obviously not about to suggest that anything Petersmith mentioned would allow us to survive the heat death of the universe, aaaannnd. . . perpetual motion machines have nothing to do with this discussion. But you can go off into whatever tangent you want, the point still remains.

This has exactly to do with perpetual motion machines! You want to turn a human body into a perpetual motion machine. You would need the energy from the entire universe, and then you have to worry about entropy. And then you have to worry about the heat death of the universe. And then you have to worry about quantum fluctuations that can make you go "poof". You're talking immortality here right? Not just "really long life"?

Haha, see yeah, I was about to say something along those lines. We were pretty much arguing two different points.

I wasn't suggesting that we could achieve eternal life, but Petersmith didn't seem to be suggesting that an eternal life was possible either, though, and that's why I felt your statement was out of place. . . I simply meant surviving until the heat death of the universe, which I believe is possible, theoretically.

If you're talking literal immortality, then yeah, I agree. Because you're right, haha.
user13579
Posts: 822
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4/29/2016 10:37:47 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Ok, fine, I guess it's theoretically possible to live billions of years :)
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
user13579
Posts: 822
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4/29/2016 11:05:30 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
I guess you have to worry about black holes too. You might eventually end up inside of one and get separated from your immortality device. Or actually that might even be the key to immortality. Find a way to survive inside a black hole.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
user13579
Posts: 822
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4/29/2016 11:07:21 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
The only problem is even black holes slowly disintegrate.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
Axonly
Posts: 1,802
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5/17/2016 11:08:02 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 4/29/2016 9:53:53 PM, Aran55633 wrote:
At 4/29/2016 9:14:58 PM, user13579 wrote:
second law of thermodynamics doesn't apply here, because the second law of thermodynamics is only applicable when dealing with an isolated system, and the human body isn't an isolated system

Fixed.

Haha
Meh!