Discontinuity

The life death transition may be viewed as the foremost of life's discontinuities, possibly the most obvious, but actually only one among many. Life is, after all, dispersed in discontinuous, living things that also exhibit discontinuities within themselves within organisms between cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems , between organisms age, sex, individual , and between taxa species, genera, families, orders, class, phyla . Life, if anything, abounds with discontinuities. Next to flux,...

Darwinism The Evolution of Mortality

The problem posed by mortality and immortality for evolutionary theory reminds me of the problem of potato confronting contestants at a spelling bee to e or not to e. Mortality and immortality do not follow the rules and easily fit into the spectrum of variety and difference found among living things as explained by Darwin's and Wallace's theory. For Darwin and Wallace, descent with modification was not an abstract principle derived by mathematical rumination but an explanation for empirical...

Cloning

Cloning Dolly

The first mammal cloned with a nucleus from a differentiated adult cell was born at the Roslin Institute in 199638 and whimsically named Dolly.39 Speaking genetically, she was a replica of the organism whose cell donated a nucleus.40 Dolly's nuclear parent was demonstrated morphologically and by high-tech DNA fingerprinting with polymorphic microsatellite DNA fragments. Dolly, the clone, inherited her genetic traits from a pregnant, 6-year old Finn-Dorset ewe killed in 1994 and not the Scottish...

Flux

Briefly, from the point of view of contemporary biology, life is impermanent. Living things, such as adult organisms, are unstable, and groups of living things, such as species, are transient. Indeed, life's most abiding feature may be its constant flux, for example, the turnover of animals brought about by birth and death. In order to turn the tables on mortality and change us from mortals into immortals, turnover has to be turned into equilibrium. This will not be as hard as it might seem on...

Yoram Schiffmann Cambridge

Expecting to relax during a routine flight home, I casually glanced through the contents of the airline's magazine and practically suffered a heart attack. The first feature article was entitled, How to Live Forever 1 Believing for a moment that Becoming Immortal had been scooped, I tore through the magazine only to find that the article concerned achieving enduring fame not eternal life. Relieved but not soothed, I imagined that others, glancing at the title of my book, might think that I was...

Achieving Immortality Through Biotechnology

Biological life boils down to three points life is in flux because genes flow life is discontinuous because different genes offer one advantage or another to individuals and life is wasteful because somatoplasm is only the vehicle of selfish genes on their way to the next generation. What then is needed to make human life immortal Life's flux must be limited to individuals genetic advantages must benefit individuals waste and selfishness must be played out within individuals. All this is within...