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Can evolution allieviate the fear and suffering of death?

  1. Jan 25, 2004 #1
    Will evolution, which selects traits promoting survival, ever directly allieviate the fear and suffering of death? Perhaps that latter process shall remain more in the domain of society and faith.
     
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  3. Jan 25, 2004 #2
    Perhaps if we some day find that the Omega point theory of Tipler is correct we will lose our fear to death. OPT proposes that in the future, humanity will construct a supercomputer that will resuscitate all the living persons of the past, and those persons will live forever inside the computer
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2004
  4. Jan 25, 2004 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    Seth Shostack - Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute - was just commenting on this. He believes in no “natural” afterlife, but he thinks we may achieve one through uploading...in another eight or ten generations. He complained how it really stinks to be so close and yet not close enough. Personally, I think this whole concept is very bothersome. How would you like to spend eternity in a Microsoft environment – eternity with Bill Gates as the supreme consciousness?

    Otherwise I would expect fear of death to continue and increase...especially if artificial immortality is ever acheived.
     
  5. Jan 25, 2004 #4
    But are the majority of people really scared of death? Most people don't fear death but in-brace it. Of course there are some people who would naturally be scared of death, but as you said who really want to live forever, even through a supercomputer? I wouldn't.
     
  6. Jan 25, 2004 #5
    Evolution does not select it is only the outcome of natural selection. It is not concerned with "survival" only with reproduction or survival until reproduction can be perform. Then Selection is much less obvious. There are some theories that Elders are needed to help raise young, ect.. But for the most part selection is done after offsprings are raised. Therefore, I do not see how selection would have anything to do with the death process or the way we feel about it.

    Nautica
     
  7. Jan 25, 2004 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    I am thinking that fear of death increases one's chances of surviving and reproducing. For example, isn't risky behavior just another mechanism for natural selection to choose the most fit?

    Statistically, doesn't Darwin favor Audi drivers over Yugo drivers? [Audi has [had?] the best safety and survivability records in the business].

    Edit: this also assumes the trend to reproduce later in life. Many people are now making babies after age forty. In 1850 this was the average lifespan.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2004
  8. Jan 25, 2004 #7

    Moonbear

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    I agree with that idea, as long as fear of dying is reflective of avoidance of risk rather than avoidance of living. In a young person, I guess the distinction is between a healthy fear from a real risk of dying vs a neurotic sort of phobia where someone is just always worrying with no real reason. Otherwise, the event triggering the fear is more of a selection factor than the fear itself -- meaning, the cause of death that is making someone address their fear, be it illness or old age.
     
  9. Jan 26, 2004 #8
    We are really arguing a mute point.

    "Natural selection" today in humans is not what it used to be, at least not in developed nations. In order for natural selection to be most effective or, at least, have the ability to make a change in allele frequency it must have novel environment.

    We are sheltered, we have plenty of food, we produce more off spring then we want to. There are only a few diseases that natural selection would be selecting upon at this time. Hemophilia, sickle cell as well as a few others. But alot of these diseases are due to mutations, which do not neccessarily need to be passed from the parents some even have heterzygote advantages, which will also help keep them around.

    Until we are over populated, I do not think that "natural selection" has much to work with.
     
  10. Jan 26, 2004 #9
    I have argued that retaining experience is becoming more important than natural selection - nurture by civilization than nature through Darwinism. (By the way, sailor, I believe you meant "moot" point.)
     
  11. Jan 26, 2004 #10
    I'll go along with that. Even though I am not a sailor.

    Nautica
     
  12. Jan 29, 2004 #11

    ICF

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    The key here is to understand death and fear nothing, realizing it is just a door to a new experience. Evolution through DNA is leading us to a point where we are understanding aging and the process thereof. Have any of you seen the article by Russian scientist's on DNA:

    http://www.thebirdman.org/Index/Temp/Temp-CanDNABeReprogrammedByWords-Ayre&Hengist.htm

    the real article is in germen and posted at the bottom of this link, I have looked at it and this study has great potential, but I am still very skeptical. Anyone else look into this?
     
  13. Jan 29, 2004 #12
    I guess I do not understand why you think this article has anything to do with this thread.

    Nautica
     
  14. Jan 29, 2004 #13
    Beyond Chernobyl?
     
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