Category: Death

Adapt or Die => Die Sooner to Adapt Faster

In the long run, the ability of a species to evolve is more important than anything else in determining its competitive success. This is true almost by definition: given enough time, the ability to adapt and improve will overtake any initial disadvantage.

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Human Mortality: Individual and Collective

It has been a major triumph of human civilization: Never before in evolutionary history has a species lifted itself from Darwin’s Struggle for Existence, and created a safe, secure environment in which a majority of individuals may expect to live out a full life expectancy and die of old age. You and I take for granted that aging is the greatest hurdle that we face in our quest to live a long, long time. Let’s hope this is true.

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Is Love Stronger Than Death?

Pictured is the 14th-century tomb effigy in Chichester Cathedral that inspired Philip Larkin’s poem “An Arundel Tomb.” It is the tomb of Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel (1306-1376), and his wife, Eleanor of Lancaster, Countess of Arundel (1311- 1372)

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Evolution of Evolution, and Evolution of Death

Evolution has bootstrapped its own process, creating the conditions that lead to more efficient evolution. Some biologists find this surprising, but it has undoubtedly occurred. Among the traits that lead to more efficient evolution is aging. Is this the basis on which aging has evolved? This is a theory that several biologists have promoted. I embrace it with a qualified “yes” – I think that aging evolved first to promote demographic stability.

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Death is Dumb!

One common argument against indefinite lifespans is that a definitive limit to one’s life – that is, death – provides some essential baseline reference, and that it is only in contrast to this limiting factor that life has any meaning at all. In this article I refute the argument’s underlying premises, and then argue that even if such premises were taken as true, its conclusion – that eradicating death would negate the “limiting factor” that legitimizes life – is also invalid, because the ever-changing state of self and of world can constitute such a limiting factor just as well as death can, which can be seen lucidly in the simple fact that opportunities once here are now gone, and that it is not death but life itself that is responsible for that.