[ 29/9/20 in response to Ray Taylor’s response to Eric Schulke’s posting of Feynman’s quote on life on 22nd “It is one of the most remarkable things that in all of the biological sciences there is no clue as to the necessity of death. If you say we want to make perpetual motion, we have discovered enough laws as we studied physics to see that it is either absolutely impossible or else the laws are wrong. But there is nothing in biology yet found that indicates the inevitability of death. This suggests to me that it is not at all inevitable, and that it is only a matter of time before the biologists discover what it is that is causing us the trouble and that that terrible universal disease or temporariness of the human’s body will be cured.”.]
[Ray stated – well the Hayflick limit and ecosystem webs both indicate the necessity of death]
Ray, That is not accurate.
I know what the Hayflick limit is.
I know the most significant reason why it is present, and that is “Antagonistic Pleiotropy”, which is based on work done by Medawar and then by George Williams, and by others like Bret Weinstein.
Cancer (the breakdown of one or more of the many levels of communication between cells that allows complex cellular life to function), is a major threat to complex life, and the Hayflick limit is one of many anticancer strategies that we have evolved.
Certainly, it has had an important role in our development to date, and we now have alternative approaches that we can deploy to solve that particular suite of issues that do not require senescence or other forms of age related loss of function.
Indefinite life extension is not only possible, it is essential if we are to have a reasonable probability of surviving as a species. Individuals need to have real incentives to actually care about the long term results of their actions.
We need many more people than a few geeks like me thinking about the long term consequences of choices. And that is an extremely complex suite of topics.