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Arthanari Chandrasekaran

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How can we humans become immortal.

I came across a species called Turritopsis nutricula which seems to be biologically immortal.

It's the dream of every human being or may be every living being in this world, but how to become immortal and have never ending life at least biologically.

Lets twist some connections in our brain and find out its possibility and what will be the consequences if our dream comes to reality.

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    Jun 30 2012: What would be the point of me being immortal? All it would do would be to degrade, devalue, and make difficult the lives of those who come after me. Planet earth is not designed to cope with immortality - and neither should we even attempt to force the issue.

    Death is an essential part of life, and immortality is certainly not the dream of this living being.
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      Jul 2 2012: there is a lot of assumptions here. the fact that i live forever does not in any way affect the planet. the number of people does, in a way. you have that hidden assumption that immortality leads to increasing population. but this is not a necessity.

      the claim that "death is part of life" is a circular argument. as of now, it is. but we are just now discussing whether we can change that. and if we can change it, it will not anymore be a part of it.
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        Jul 2 2012: Hi Krisztián. Would you say that immortality itself is a bit of an assumption too?

        My argument is not so much about population numbers alone, but numbers multiplied by lifestyle expectations.

        You may or may not agree with the hypothesis that our planet is a self-sustaining single organism (refer to James Lovelock's 'Gaia Theory'). I happen to think the hypothesis is very plausible.

        I think introducing the stressors of immortality to an already struggling organism, will very likely affect the planet. I would be interested to hear why you think it wouldn't?

        The lifestyle expectations of modern mortals is already unsustainable. To introduce immortality into that equation, added to those same expectations, will be nothing short of disastrous.

        I think nature should be allowed to run its own course. It is the only guarantee of a healthy planet.
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          Jul 2 2012: first, no, i did not claim that immortality is possible. you claimed that it is not possible. both its possibility or its impossibility are claims that require proof or at least support. as of now, we don't know the answer. and that is my point.

          immortality leads to increasing population IF(!) children are born. but if only that much children are born as people die, the population can be stable.

          such "theories" like tha gaia "theory" does not classify as scientific theories. theories have verifiable predictions that are not known at the moment of formulating the theory. but even if they were theories, they are certainly not well established theories.

          nature does not run its own course for long time. we use heating, clothing, farming, medicine and many other stuff. eliminating aging is just another step (series of steps) on that path. again, it is either possible or not, but not in any way a game changer or fundamentally different than what we have today.
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        Jul 2 2012: Yes, I've already stated that Gaia is a hypothesis and has not yet been scientifically proven. It is a hypothesis that I choose to hang my hat on right now, until something even more plausible comes along.

        I need to ask you some questions, based on the supposition that immortality is possible:

        What about my main point about the 'lifestyle expectations' of a mortal population as opposed to the expectations of an immortal one? Would they will be different in any way, with regard to demand on natural resources?

        Would an immortal population eventually supersede a mortal one?

        How would that affect the moral and ethical behaviour of those who can afford immortality - and would that lead to the engineering of a social elite over and above those who cannot afford it? (assuming immortality would be a very expensive privilege for those who have the money to do it).

        How would immortality affect our own evolutionary path?
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          Jul 2 2012: more plausible is simply our knowledge without the gaia hypothesis. and you don't have to wait for it, it is already here.

          i have no idea how eternal life would change lifestyle. i see no direct connection, and i don't think anyone can reliably forecast how people would react on average. but i also don't see how would that affect what we were talking about. whatever the consequences are, it has no bearing whatsoever on its plausibility.

          as an example, imagine two cave men talking about lengthening human longevity. they would say: what are the implications? if we make people live 3 (4, 5) times longer, it immediately triples (quadruples, etc) the population at any time. what would the consequences be? and how would it affect the lifestyle of people?

          this conversation seems as valid as your concerns about living forever. yet, i believe, you don't advocate shortening human life, and i also believe that you think giving people extra years or a decade is a good thing. so how can we think that long life is good, longer life is better, but eternal life is unnatural and wrong?
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    Jul 11 2012: Why talk about the possibility of immortality, when spiritually we already are immortal??

    Why would a fetus speculate on, and wish to be in the womb forever?? I use this analogy because Swedenborg says we are in the womb to prepare (physically) for this world. And we are in this world to prepare (spiritually) for the next, or spiritual world.

    The second chapter of this book is "People are immortal"
    http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/TheSpiritualWorld.pdf

    When our body dies, our spirit (our love) can and will create the perfect world around us and we'll love every 'second' of it. There really is something to look forward to..
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    Jul 3 2012: If you want to achieve immortality, then focus on the spirit rather than the body. The body is temporal. The spirit lives on in many dimensions.

    As for the consequences of biological immortality, it would halt the evolutionary process, at least as far as you are concerned. As you watch life evolving around you, you will find yourself falling hopelessly behind. Eventually, you may find that biological immortality was nothing more than a curse.
  • Jul 2 2012: We dream to be immortal because it is clearly not so. If we became immortal I can't even imagine how drab life would be. Imagine living around 500,000 years what more would there be to experience?

    Could we at least travel the universe? Even if we could, what about 10 billion years and life still goes on, what then? Wouldn't it cheapen almost every experience we have here on this planet. I would also postulate that if we lost the fear of death we would simultaneously loose much of our drive to discover, make the world a better place, or procreate. Where would this leave us? I cant even fathom what we would do for stimulation.
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    Jun 26 2012: check

    http://www.ted.com/talks/aubrey_de_grey_says_we_can_avoid_aging.html

    the guy says it is not only possible, but within our reach
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    Jul 25 2012: With nanobots to repair our bodies on the cellular level, and quantum computers to control them, who knows what might be possible.
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    Jul 21 2012: the next time someone is coming along, and claiming that immortality is impossible, i'm going to donate $100 to sens.org
  • Jul 21 2012: Immortality is a false belief. Reject it, and maximize the life and time you have.
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    Jul 11 2012: I'll pass on immortality thanks.
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    Jul 3 2012: There's lots of ideas some very sci fi-ish such as, growing whole new bodies and doing a brain transplant, telomerase can make cells immortal but they've to be cancer cells so thats not so good.
    But there's too many problems such as population, health, costs etc
    Though I'd argue that it would be an awful thing to be physically immortal. Whilst I'm loving life now I think there'd be a point when I'd just want to leave eventually. Especially if my health was bad, but even with good health I think I'd rather die before I was say 200
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    Jul 3 2012: In response to Krisztián, it's not really a valid question or answer as we could never say...not having been in that situation...but I doubt your outlook would remain the same.
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      Jul 3 2012: in that case, the question does not make a whole lot of sense, does it?
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        Jul 3 2012: It makes perfect sense to ask questions even though the answers may still be beyond our reach.
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          Jul 4 2012: let me summarize the conversation so far:

          you: what would change?
          me: nothing
          you: we can not know the future
          me: then why ask?
          you: it is reasonable to ask even if we don't know the answer

          does that seem to lead anywhere?
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          Jul 4 2012: @ Krisztián

          quote: ‘does that seem to lead anywhere?‘

          This sort of conversation may not, yet your last summary of David's thoughts does for me.

          quuote: 'It is reasonable to ask even if we don't know the answer'

          Everything humans do, or create, and this includes the future, has to be thought first, may it be conscious or unconscious. Asking questions without knowing the answer is what scienence is based on, and at times, the results have lead to our todays present, which was the future when the questions were asked.
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          Jul 4 2012: jan-bernd: every question must aspire for an answer. when i tried to give an answer, i was shut down as there could be no answer. it does not make sense.
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    Jul 2 2012: It's certainly not my dream...personally I can't think of anything more undesirable. What would you value if life went on forever? Experiences that are normally once in a lifetime would become banal. The great joy of life...giving life...would have to end, otherwise there would be massive population growth.
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    Jul 2 2012: Hi ,Chandrasekaran
    i don't know about the possibilities of humans becoming immortal, but about the consequences, i am pretty sure it wont be good for us and our planet.
    being immortal is largely a personal thing. as a species all we should look forward is on survival of our kind. being immortal and surviving extinction are different things, i hope you understand.
    other important thing is that, evolution of our species will stop by being immortal, i think you will agree with that. and without evolution we wont be able to cop with the changes of our environment and of our own life style. to survive we need to evolve and for that we should be a part of birth and death process.
    just think of the case if our ancestors were immortal, our brains wouldn't have evolved and we wont be this intelligent and we would've been continuing their life style...and if we were continuing that life style who knows we would haven't been extinct by now. because everything around us were changing.
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    Jun 30 2012: Not sure I want to be immortal.
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    Jun 30 2012: To be immortal is the same as being dead.
    Life and death are two sides of the same coin. One can't be without the other.
    It's the body that dies and that's not what we are. What we are is attached to a body and will be detached.
    So we are immortal being born over and over, developping ever more.
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    Jun 27 2012: If there is and if we would find the genetic trigger to stop the internal clock from ticking, I see no reason why we should not be able to become immortal one day. Additionally we by then need to have a cure for any desease possible and keep constantly watching for the busses ...

    Just wonder how our minds will cope with it and what the average time till suicide becomes ...

    I do assume, that in health and good vitality, we would probably go for a longer turn than we naturally have today.
  • Jun 27 2012: "In physics, mathematics, and astronautics [elderly] means over thirty; in the other disciplines, senile decay is sometimes postponed to the forties. There are, of course, glorious exceptions; but as every researcher just out of college knows, scientists of over fifty are good for nothing but board meetings, and should at all costs be kept out of the laboratory! "
    Defining 'elderly scientist' as in Clarke's First Law. -- Arthur C. Clarke

    The vast majority of scientific discoveries are made by the young. Immortality might mean the end of human progress.
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    Jun 27 2012: If we take our brains,put it into machines and keep our same memories that will encompass our personality, thoughts and ideas,we could probably be immortal....but I wouldnt wanna be
  • Jun 26 2012: I would hate to be actually immortal.

    It would take the fun out of life.
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      Jun 26 2012: That's my thought too. Why exactly would a person even want to be immortal?
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    Jun 26 2012: We are already immortal, just most don't want to believe it.

    :-)
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    Jun 26 2012: Genetically we already are. Spiritually, I believe we are too. Even if individual physical life was to be extended by decades - say to 130 - never mind immortality - we would have to drastically reduce the number of babies being born. The world population would become like that of Japan - a demography skewed towards the older population. China, in the next decade, will be a good example of this too. It will be interesting to see how they treat their old people. At an individual level “youth” would become a smaller part of an individuals life.

    If the birth rate didn’t fall the world population would expand at a faster pace than ever before - leading to increased land and resource stress and more wars - reducing populations in an indiscriminate way.

    Personally, I'm quite happy with the status quo i.e. a mortal life where youth and fitness takes up most of a lifespan. I accept that in some parts of the world mortality occurs pitifully young - perhaps this is where the work needs to be focused. A more equitable life expectancy.

    If Immortality was a dream I'd consider it to be a nightmare!