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Author Topic: Why do organisms want to live?  (Read 3879 times)

Offline Lamprey5

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Why do organisms want to live?
« on: 08/05/2011 00:26:06 »
Biologically, what about organisms makes them want to live? And why do infertile organisms (like people) still want to live?
Having an infertile organism around to help other genes survive (like in one's family) seems likely, but wouldn't it be more economical to have the organism commit suicide or just die off? The infertile one would be using resources (such as food) that the other fertile organisms could otherwise be using to survive and reproduce. To me, it would make more sense for the genes allowing reproduction to be mixed with those of "wanting to live", so that if a mutation causes infertility, then the resources could be saved by having the infertile organism die. This sounds horrible to think about in society.

I understand that infertile organisms can benefit society and help out others' genes to propagate, but why does this happen instead of them just dying or committing suicide?


 

Offline RD

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Why do organisms want to live?
« Reply #1 on: 08/05/2011 05:52:02 »
... wouldn't it be more economical to have the organism commit suicide or just die off? The infertile one would be using resources (such as food) that the other fertile organisms could otherwise be using to survive and reproduce.


This has happened when there is a shortage of food ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_and_euthanasia_of_the_elderly_in_antiquity#Senicide_by_culture
 

Offline Lamprey5

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Why do organisms want to live?
« Reply #2 on: 11/05/2011 22:46:09 »
... wouldn't it be more economical to have the organism commit suicide or just die off? The infertile one would be using resources (such as food) that the other fertile organisms could otherwise be using to survive and reproduce.


This has happened when there is a shortage of food ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_and_euthanasia_of_the_elderly_in_antiquity#Senicide_by_culture [nofollow]

Yes it happens, but my question is why do organisms want to live? What causes the tendency to 'try to survive'?
 

Offline RD

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Why do organisms want to live?
« Reply #3 on: 12/05/2011 05:18:04 »
... but my question is why do organisms want to live? What causes the tendency to 'try to survive'?

There is natural selection for that trait.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Why do organisms want to live?
« Reply #4 on: 12/05/2011 22:53:59 »
Does a tree or a blade of grass "want" to live?  Or does it just respond to sunlight, water, nutrients, and etc...  and grow?

A fly likely has urges of needing/wanting food.  And, grows, reproduces, etc.  Not fulfilling the need to eat is generally uncomfortable for any organism. 

They question may be as you go up the food chain, where does one shift from "needs" to "wants"?

 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Why do organisms want to live?
« Reply #4 on: 12/05/2011 22:53:59 »

 

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