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Author Topic: Is immortality around the corner?  (Read 6206 times)

Offline savyinvestor

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Is immortality around the corner?
« on: 16/10/2006 05:23:16 »
I am currently reading The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil and came across an interesting item.

He mentions that scientists have already bioengineered a cell that doesn't lose its teleremes and thus divides indefinetely.

Currently this technology if used in humans would lead to cancer, but Mr. Kurzweil is 100% sure that within several decades scientists will crack that problem and then humans will become immortal, at least in the sense of not ageing.

Does anyone here know more about teleremes and immortal cells?

Is he right? In 50 years will people live an ageless existance?

Any thoughts on this?


 

Offline Karen W.

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Re: Is immortality around the corner?
« Reply #1 on: 16/10/2006 09:45:29 »
MAny religions believe this to be a certainty 10000 years of peace and no one will age or die! That is not my opinion, but just some peoples belief certainly not scientistic proof. I would be interested in knowing how accurate your book is.. It sounds very interesting indeed!

Karen
« Last Edit: 16/10/2006 09:46:02 by Karen W. »
 

Offline savyinvestor

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Re: Is immortality around the corner?
« Reply #2 on: 16/10/2006 12:56:43 »
Karen, I apologize for the confusion, it is not my book, just one that I am reading.

As to your comment regarding 10,000 years of piece, it is interesting to note that I have heard that had we not had both world wars, we would be at least 50 years more advanced than we are now.

This would allow us to, possibly already have such technology as Kurzweil is writing of.

And perhaps, had we had 10,000 years of peace, ie, no wars at all, we may have been perhaps, 100 years more advanced, in which case, it is almost certain that we would have such technology.

This points to the importance of maintaing peace today, for a world war today could set us back 25 years or more, which would push the "singularity" point as Kurzweil calls it, past 2045 and out of reach of many people living today.

Indeed we are all in a race with death. Thus we must strive to survive to 2050, by which point we may have defeated natural ageing and been given an oppertunity to evolve as a species, to our full potential.
 

another_someone

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Re: Is immortality around the corner?
« Reply #3 on: 16/10/2006 14:41:22 »
Mr. Kurzweil may believe, or even be sure, of that; but I would doubt it on a number of basic issues.

Firstly, complex organism required programmed death as a part of their development.  If certain cells did not die during the development of the embryo, we would just be a ball of cells without any shape. Programmed cell death is also a valuable tool to protect against viral infection.

Secondly, while teleremes and programmed cell death may be associated with ageing, there are many causes of death that are nothing to do with ageing, but are nonetheless ultimately unavoidable.



George
 

Offline savyinvestor

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Re: Is immortality around the corner?
« Reply #4 on: 16/10/2006 21:15:27 »
On the issue of unavoidable accidents that end one's life, I think I may have a solution to that.

It would require one to download their consciousness into a short of black box that could be implanted into the body. In the event of a fatal accident one's consciousness would wirelessly download to a recieving station where they would have your DNA stored and where you could be downloaded into a clone of yourself.

I'm sure it will take some time to figure out, but it could do away with all concepts of death.

Thoughts?
 

Offline otis01

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Re: Is immortality around the corner?
« Reply #5 on: 18/10/2006 04:15:52 »
This body and mind will Always be subject to Time: Birth, growth, decay, and Death. Maybe drugs and some technologies will continue to prolong the "life"
of this body and mind, but it will only still slow the onset of death(by aging anyhow). Death of this body is inevitable. Maybe you are not this body.

I would ask this question: Who told you that you're not "immortal" Now? Who can tell you that your consciousness will not continue right through the death of this body? Maybe much like savyinvestor says, though I think consciousness, if transferrable, would be quite more thoroughly enjoyed without the burden of another body. Who can know? I can't wait to find out though......
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: Is immortality around the corner?
« Reply #6 on: 18/10/2006 11:20:14 »
Immortality is a totally stupid concept. Death and replacement is essential for there to be changes in our universe.  longevity might however be a desirable and useful thing but only once we have learned to control our numbers.

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another_someone

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Re: Is immortality around the corner?
« Reply #7 on: 18/10/2006 12:53:44 »
Even longevity brings serious risks to the species since it reduces the speed to which the genome of the species can respond to environmental changes and thus increases the probability that we will be overcome by environmental changes and thus pushed into extinction.

Some of this increased genetic inflexibility can be offset by increases in social flexibility, but even social flexibility ultimately requires some changes in the genome over time.



George
 

Offline lightarrow

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Re: Is immortality around the corner?
« Reply #8 on: 19/10/2006 12:23:31 »
quote:
Originally posted by otis01

... Maybe you are not this body.

I would ask this question: Who told you that you're not "immortal" Now? Who can tell you that your consciousness will not continue right through the death of this body? Maybe much like savyinvestor says, though I think consciousness, if transferrable, would be quite more thoroughly enjoyed without the burden of another body. Who can know? I can't wait to find out though......

I agree with you. I believe we are actually, not our body.
I believe our body is only our house (or our dress). No proves, however.
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: Is immortality around the corner?
« Reply #9 on: 19/10/2006 15:20:43 »
I have clear reccolections going back to when I was a small child and absolutely no reccolections of what happened before that period other than what I have been told by parents, grandparents and the media etc.  This seems to be clear evidence that "I" started about the time I was born.  I can see clearly that all living things are born and die at their time. so I see no sensible reason (other than selfishness and desire to live) to expect anything other that the fact that I will die eventually.

Learn, create, test and tell
evolution rules in all things
God says so!
 

another_someone

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Re: Is immortality around the corner?
« Reply #10 on: 19/10/2006 16:23:36 »
There is another problem with any sort of immortality - that which is immortal can never evolve into anything but what it is - in order to be able to evolve, one must have both birth and death.



George
 

Offline science_guy

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Re: Is immortality around the corner?
« Reply #11 on: 20/10/2006 15:58:48 »
quote:
I have clear reccolections going back to when I was a small child and absolutely no reccolections of what happened before that period other than what I have been told by parents, grandparents and the media etc. This seems to be clear evidence that "I" started about the time I was born. I can see clearly that all living things are born and die at their time. so I see no sensible reason (other than selfishness and desire to live) to expect anything other that the fact that I will die eventually.


there are two aspects to this kind of thing.  There is your conciousness, and your memory.  Your memory is directly linked to your brain, and if you were to lose your body, you would lose all of your memory as well.  It is impossible to remember somthing before your brain was there, or else Somthing isnt as people think about the brain.  If we do live on, we wouldn't remember a thing.  For all we know, reincarnation could also be a viable theory.

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Re: Is immortality around the corner?
« Reply #11 on: 20/10/2006 15:58:48 »

 

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