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Author Topic: What causes dying?
Blayne Bradley
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philicles or soemthing theyre called. AFAIK eahc time your cells replicate there is a slight biological error each time its copied, like copying a VCHS tabe over and over, eventually all youll see is static. Fix the error, fix the static.
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MightyCow
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I would imagine that DNA transcription errors ultimately result in very few deaths. In the very long-term, perfect DNA replication may become a necessity, but all the various diseases and poisons are much more damaging.

I suppose, if you wanted to, you could bunch things like cancer in with the DNA problems, but they're generally not a result of shortened DNA strands due to age.

Fascinating stuff. I'm glad I took all the biology courses I did in college, even though I decided not to major in it.

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GaalDornick
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I think I would get bored of life after about five to six hundred years. I mean, after awhile it must start to get old and there's nothing new for you to see.
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Amanecer
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I think boredom isn't all that dependent on how long you've lived. If you have the right attitude, there's always something interesting to be doing. I think new things and people come about all the time and a person that was willing could find ways to entertain themselves for eternity.
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rivka
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IMO, people who spend all their time trying to figure out how not to die will miss out on the actual LIVING of life!
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anti_maven
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Read 'The Forever War' by Joe Haldeman. It is enough to put you off living forever.

If not, the concept of travelling at near-as-dammit light speed to far off destinations and then returning to Earth should fulfill your desires.

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MightyCow
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L'Chaim!
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Juxtapose
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quote:
posted by Nighthawk:
Everybody "dies" for the same reason: lack of bloodflow to the brain.

See also: lack of a brain for blood to flow to.
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ricree101
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quote:
Originally posted by anti_maven:

If not, the concept of travelling at near-as-dammit light speed to far off destinations and then returning to Earth should fulfill your desires.

That isn't remotely the same as living forever. It's just living a normal lifespan spaced really far apart in time.


quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
I think I would get bored of life after about five to six hundred years. I mean, after awhile it must start to get old and there's nothing new for you to see.

That's very possible, but I wouldn't mind having a chance to find out firsthand. [Big Grin]
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Dr Strangelove
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You know Blayne, you're starting to sound a lot like this guy I know by the name of Anakin Skywalker ...
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0Megabyte
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Now, the only problem with living forever is if you continue aging.

They have a Greek myth about that. Good story.

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Tante Shvester
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quote:
Originally posted by Dr Strangelove:
You know Blayne, you're starting to sound a lot like this guy I know by the name of Anakin Skywalker ...

You know the Darth? Whoa! What's he like to hang out with?
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neo-dragon
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It's not so much the dying that scares me as much as the idea of growing old and frail and weak, and possibly losing control of my bodily functions and mental faculties. I think it would be nice to live for about 100 years, but stop aging at 25. Then when the time comes, you just go to sleep one night and don't wake up.

However, the problem with that scenario is my personal unscientific theory about why we really age. That is, to prepare us for death. It's easier to accept that your life in this world is coming to an end when your body's all deteriorated. I imagine that if I was 90 years old and felt as healthy and strong as I do right now, knowing that my life would end soon would seem cruel and unfair rather than natural.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by pfresh85:
I forget exactly what one of the problems was, but it had something to do with something in your cells that was of a certain length (and had some slack to spare) and that with each replication it got shorter, so at some point you stopped cutting away the slack and started cutting away vital things. I forget what exactly it was (maybe it was DNA and chromatid related?).

I think you are going for "telomeres." Try googling "telomere shortening."

---

Edited to add: it adds nice texture, but not quite as flaky a crust as "telomere lard."

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Bob the Lawyer
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I think the continual damage from free radicals is probably a more significant impact than telomere shortening.

Reminds me of a time a sat next to a scientist on a train for a few hours. His area of focus was "living forever", which he believes is impossible according to his faith. Interesting guy, I wish I remembered more of the conversation. Things like that make me wish I kept a journal on me more often.

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Boon
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:


Edited to add: it adds nice texture, but not quite as flaky a crust as "telomere lard."

*this made me, for real, LoL! [ROFL]
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Will B
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Aging is caused by Elli, the Norse Goddess who humbled Thor in a wrestling match. You can't beat her: she's got you by the short hairs. I mean, the telomeres.
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Blayne Bradley
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now now, Anakin wanted to prevent the ones close to him from dying not to live forever, and Ild much prefer it via means that dont harm a significant amount of people around me.
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pfresh85
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
I think you are going for "telomeres." Try googling "telomere shortening."

---

Edited to add: it adds nice texture, but not quite as flaky a crust as "telomere lard."

Yeah, that was it. Thanks Claudia. And of course telomere lard is going to give you a flakier crust than telomere shortening. Everyone knows that. [Razz]
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
now now, Anakin wanted to prevent the ones close to him from dying not to live forever, and Ild much prefer it via means that dont harm a significant amount of people around me.

You say that now, but once you taste the sweet, sweet power of the dark side, you won't care so much about those around you.
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Nighthawk
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quote:
Originally posted by 0Megabyte:
Now, the only problem with living forever is if you continue aging.

They have a Greek myth about that. Good story.

You can also always get a painting to do the aging for you. Just try not to look at it.
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stihl1
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There are genes that cause aging. The focus on anti-aging research right now is on stopping those genes.
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Nighthawk:
quote:
Originally posted by 0Megabyte:
Now, the only problem with living forever is if you continue aging.

They have a Greek myth about that. Good story.

You can also always get a painting to do the aging for you. Just try not to look at it.
Oh, you can look at it. Just don't get ticked off at it and try to stab it or something.
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Samprimary
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"Lack of a phylactery" is typically the number one cause of aging.
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Blayne Bradley
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Being a lich is a horrible way to go, but in all honesty I wanna sorta be like the librarian dude from DragonLance.
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jlt
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"to the well educated mind, death is but the next great adventure"
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Eduardo St. Elmo
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Aah... death...

I honestly do not know of a foolproof way to avoid dying completely, and personally do not really want to. Sometimes I find the prospect of death rather appealing.
Besides the reason why everybody dies, is that it gives life so much more value, the knowledge that it's just temporary.
So Blayne, my question to you is: Why don't you want to die? You'll probably answer that life is such a pleasant experience. Well, if a pleasant experience continous without end, it will eventually lose all of its initial attraction. The amount of time to achieve this varies, depending the pleasurable activity one is engaged in.
If your fantasy scenario of being alive in about 450 years, while still having the appearance of someone in his prime, would come true I think you would find it hard to cope with it over time. Just to throw in another Highlander reference; think of Methos, he's been around for 5000 years and his unique point of view regarding history has not made him a happy man (at least not when he's first introduced). Obviously this situation is based on the assumption that you will be the only one to have immortality. That way you'll find new depths in your understanding of the word/sensation loneliness. It also assumes you will keep the ability of empathy.
Now, if somehow everybody were to become immortal, we'd have to cope with a whole different set of problems. Remember the fact that the immortals in Highlander do not have the ability to procreate? This might have to become reality if we were all immortal, otherwise the population would just get out of hand. At the very least, nature would try to compensate by allowing these 'new humans' far slimmer chances of conceiving, thereby decreasing the number of births.

"Who wants to live forever?" Not me, that's for sure. But if you still desire it I wish you good luck in tour quest for answers.

GaalDornick, rivka & jlt: I concur.

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Blayne Bradley
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m reason why theidea is appealing is so that I can continue to observe history in the making and be here when interesting things happen.

Besides it should take the better part of eternity to figure out how to program my VCR.

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Euripides
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I wouldn't want to live forever.

What if you were cast out of a space ship into the void? You couldn't die, but you might spend a metaphorical eternity floating through space. And it wouldn't be as interesting as Bender's little trip either.

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Scott R
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What causes dying?

Me.

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kmbboots
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Being born.
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Blayne Bradley
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no i defined immortality as not aging, the other thing is invincibility which I do not want, if i get hit by a bus then I am dead that I accept.
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KarlEd
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
There are genes that cause aging. The focus on anti-aging research right now is on stopping those genes.

I recently heard something on the health channel or science channel that mentioned research showing that what we consider "aging" spontaneously stops at some point in the elderly who live long enough. Right now some are focusing on finding out exactly why that is and if there is a way to get it to happen at a younger age.
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Strider
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Interesting. I think we naturally take certain risks in our lives(completely unconsciously) based on some internal sense of how those risks relate to our expected lifespan. If we never aged, then the probability of dying unnaturally would rise to 100%, which could lead to people never leaving their homes or living their lives at all for fear of death at any moment.

"on a long enough time line the survival rate for everybody drops to zero."

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ClaudiaTherese
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Re: "genes that cause aging"

Wikipedia has a good overview in the article on apoptosis.

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Stephan
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The true secret to immortality lies on Zeist.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Being born.

Life is an STD with a 100% mortality rate [Big Grin]

I personally do not believe we will ever find a way to live forever, though living hundreds of years may one day be a possibility.

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ClaudiaTherese
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One of the classic articles on this topic was Eastern J, Drucker C, and Wolf J's "The inheritance pattern of death," J Irreproducible Results 28:22-23, 1982.
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ReikoDemosthenes
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To be honest, I would not enjoy the idea of living forever. I have no interest in seeing humanity committing the same errors over and over again, seeing us rejoice and panic over things that we take to be new or that I would have seen coming centuries ago, yet nobody listened. Life would probably become one giant extended facedesk moment.

The rest of my reasons for favouring death to physical immortality fall under a theological point of view.

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vonk
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I read somewhere that there's a really effective way to prevent aging, and thus death. It involved a very involved, very difficult daily regement of fire (sex), water (bathing), air (circular breathing) and earth (I don't remember, I think eating certain foods). The main jist was that by strenuously repeating these acts in particularly specified ways, one could convince their body that they were in the prime of their life forever. Their body would never age, and would never die, because it would constantly keep itself at peek condition.

I believe the only people that reportedly succeeded in this task succeeded stupendously, but their happiness was heavily seasoned with dispair.

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Dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
no i defined immortality as not aging, the other thing is invincibility which I do not want, if i get hit by a bus then I am dead that I accept.

I feel like the irony of the universe would make sure that anyone who had figured out how to defeat aging would get hit by a bus. Like, immediately.
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Leonide
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"I think...that the only reason we die...is because we accept it...as an inevitability. Haa!!"
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Nighthawk
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"I don't mind death... I just don't want to be there when it happens."
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camus
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
What causes dying?

Me.

Chuck Norris would like to have a word with you regarding that.
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camus
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
m reason why theidea is appealing is so that I can continue to observe history in the making and be here when interesting things happen.

I wonder what this would do to one's memory? Until we invent a way to store and backup memories, we have very limited capacity to work with. I'm not sure what hundreds or thousands of years of memories would do to a person. It would be a shame to lose large portions of your life just because you couldn't store everything in memory.
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Blayne Bradley
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Arent we only using 11% of our mental capacity as is? cant we remember more if we can figure out how to?
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camus
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quote:
Arent we only using 11% of our mental capacity as is?
I was under the impression that the study showed we are only using a portion of our brains at any given time, but taken over a time period, we use our entire brains. I'll try to find a link.... In any case, our memory capacity is finite, whether we are using our entire brains or not. If the length of a life is infinite, that creates issues.

[Added]

Here's a good link about the 10% myth.

[ March 21, 2007, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: camus ]

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foundling
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Oh man, if I knew I would live forever, I'd become the worst procrastinator EVER! I'd be saying "I'll get that done tomorrow" for, like, 800 years.
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Blayne Bradley
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it talks about the myth but doesnt nessasarily prove/disprove it afaik.
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rivka
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Oh, for gosh sakes. Read my lips: IT IS A MYTH.

Snopes
Straight Dope
How many links do you want?

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