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This could get heavy...


MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
18 Mar 2008 9:09AM
So I was thinking on my way home last night as to why people get old and die.
As time has gone by, we have lived longer and longer. But what will happen in the future? Our bodies cannot cope with getting older than we do now.
Does evolution have a plan? Did it know we would start to live longer and so naturally make our bodies start to decay?
Why do our bodies not carry on growing like they do at the beginning of our lives? is our existence pre-determined?

I'm interested in what anyone has to say on this, so give me your thoughts.

I know it's early morning, but I've been pondering this since last night... Smile

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Geoffphoto 8 13.5k United Kingdom
18 Mar 2008 9:13AM
Wow - deep subject !! a couple of quotes to make you smile while you ponder

"If you live to be one hundred, you've got it made. Very few people die past that age."
George Burns
US actor & comedian (1896 - 1996)


"I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens."
Woody Allen


Smile
Danny_Peters 7 159 England
18 Mar 2008 10:01AM
There was a thought provoking article in the Times yesterday along these lines. Inspired by the recent news about Terry Pratchet having alzheimer's. Saying that while we are extending people's lives further and further, we often aren't actually extending any quality of life.
Tooth 9 5.8k 227 Ireland
18 Mar 2008 10:05AM

Quote:Does evolution have a plan?


no, by definition. It's an accumulation of small random changes.

over a very long time period, the human body might evolve to live older (on average) - but till then most of the changes are environmental


Quote:So I was thinking on my way home last night as to why people get old and die.
#
to make room for the new ones Smile
Tooth 9 5.8k 227 Ireland
18 Mar 2008 10:08AM

Quote:Saying that while we are extending people's lives further and further, we often aren't actually extending any quality of life


Very good point - I heard it said another way, that medical advances don't always prolong life, they sometimes prolong death...
daviewat 11 4.1k Scotland
18 Mar 2008 10:11AM
How true tooth


I can tell you right now If there was a jab from tesco you could buy that did the death bit i could easily buy one now rather than have to suffer the pain i do at the momenbt with my knees, even though they are to be surgicaly replaced soon, its the now that counts and life quality is totaly zilch
Geoffphoto 8 13.5k United Kingdom
18 Mar 2008 10:15AM
All the more reason to enjoy your life now - If you don't smoke or drink then you may extend your life by a few years - but you don't get those years now, you get them when you're stuck in a home with other old people, impotent, incontinent, stuck in a chair or bed , going blind and deaf !! - so smoke, fornicate, drink and eat junk food NOW - you know it make sense !! :


and another quote

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good."
Steven Wright
Tooth 9 5.8k 227 Ireland
18 Mar 2008 10:21AM
Hang on in there Davie, we need you for November Smile

It's sad to hear you talking like that, things really will be much better, though I really have no smart answer as to how to get over the constant pain you're suffering. let's hope the "soon" of your ops really is very soon..

Stephen
Fishnet 10 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
18 Mar 2008 10:24AM
My poor nan has been in a home for the past 3 years, suffering from dementia, her mind has totally gone, she doesn't even know who my dad is when he visits, she's not the person she was and she went into hospital 2 days ago and it doesn't look like she will be coming out the normal route.
My nan was always a wonderful, fit lively, energetic woman, totally independant, a widower for about 40 years, always going off on holiday on her own etc, she used to be an acrobatic dancer on stage in the West End when she got married, and to see her just withering away, a long and slow, horrible death really, lasting 3 years is just awful.
I was talking about this to Mr U the other day, we can keep the body going for longer but what about the mind? It's like there is a time limit, and expiration date set on our minds and bodies which medical technology is brushing aside and ignoring and so the mind goes first (as that is harder to have any control over) which is then followed years later by the poor desperate body.
My nan could have ended her days with far more dignity if her body was allowed to follow it's natural course.
stolzy 9 3.8k 7
18 Mar 2008 10:33AM
Evolution does not 'have a plan'. It doesn't ork like that. Evolution is th result of many many small modifications. Almost all of them worthless or worse. The very few that do confer an advantage on the individual remain in the gene pool and may be passed on to successive generations. Evolution does not look forward or backward, it simply sifts out the advantageous changes.
Its wrong to think of bodies simply 'decaying' people die from specific disease processes. Almost everyone in the West dies from cardiovascular disease or cancer. if they were eliminated then life expectancy would increase greatly.
Your post suggests that there is a 'grand plan'
stolzy 9 3.8k 7
18 Mar 2008 10:37AM

Quote:but what about the mind? It's like there is a time limit, and expiration date set on our minds and bodies

Again, Alzheimer's appears to be a rather specific disease process and not just a general decaying of the mind. its not impossible that there could be prevention and cure in the future. However, the restrictions we place on medical research and the difficulty of getting tissue samples makes this more difficult.
mikeweeks 10 954 3 England
18 Mar 2008 10:40AM
Not being a religious person I do believe though that the bible talks of 3 score years and 10 (please correct me) and if I get to 70 I know I will have had plenty of fun, annoyed enough people and done many things that I wanted to do. I hope that I will be in a position then to re-evaluate my potential but that is some way in the future.

Mike
Fishnet 10 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
18 Mar 2008 10:42AM
My nan doesn't have Alzheimers.
Actually, Alzheimers is almost unheard of in India and there has been studies which show that turmeric seems to have preventative effect on it.
franken e2
12 3.3k 4 Wales
18 Mar 2008 10:43AM
I read recently that the gene that causes your body to age has been identified and there is a possibility that it could be modified in the future to extend the life span of humans.

The world is already over populated; povery and starvation still exists, if we all suddenly lived longer and there was no control over the birth rate we would soon run out of resources on Earth.

"It's only life and we all get through it!"
I can't remember who said that?

Ken
Fishnet 10 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
18 Mar 2008 10:45AM
Let's hope society's attitude to old people changes then if we're all going to be living longer.

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