Factor X have we finally found the fountain of Youth?

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williatw
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Factor X have we finally found the fountain of Youth?

Postby williatw » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:49 am


hanelyp
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Postby hanelyp » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:35 am


williatw
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Postby williatw » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:49 am


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Postby choff » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:55 am

CHoff

CaptainBeowulf
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Postby CaptainBeowulf » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:07 am


williatw
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Postby williatw » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:01 am


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Postby Luzr » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:10 am


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Postby Luzr » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:14 am


KitemanSA
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Postby KitemanSA » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:36 pm


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Postby Diogenes » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:17 pm

‘What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.’
— Lord Melbourne —

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Postby Diogenes » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:27 pm

‘What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.’
— Lord Melbourne —

williatw
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Postby williatw » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:07 pm

Last edited by williatw on Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Diogenes
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Postby Diogenes » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:14 pm

‘What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.’
— Lord Melbourne —

KitemanSA
Posts: 6114
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:05 pm
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Postby KitemanSA » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:33 pm


CaptainBeowulf
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Postby CaptainBeowulf » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:07 pm

Yeah, the way I have often phrased it is that evolution by natural selection will be (partially) replaced by self-directed evolution. "Self" at a species level, although individuals will have some choice over the specific "upgrades" they want.

I think we have a long way to go though. I can't really see how we get around the problems of altering an already complete organism: retroviruses can deliver genes to your cells, but they can't splice them in at exactly the same place on the chromosomes in each cell to create a coherent change. Somatic changes are much easier - we could manipulate a single fertilized egg or even the gametes before joining them to create new "enhanced" people, but I think that those of us already wandering around posting on forums like this are pretty much screwed.

Although, those of us who are relatively younger and have no major health problems may make it to somewhere around 150 years with the aforementioned organ replacements grown from our own cells. I agree that it will be central nervous system failure that will finish us off.

There are people in their 90s who still have really good mental acuity. I remember my grandmother in her 90s - her body was failing, but her mind was still there. In some cases the memory/logic lapses start because blood flow/nutrient levels/sensory input starts to fail because the other organs/tissues are breaking down. So it depends on the person. We don't really know how long the CNS can last provided the rest of the body is healthy (and no genetic predispositions to dementia causing illnesses).

Oh well, maybe we'll somehow get the "mind downloading," although it's difficult to see how that could work. I can see getting memory imprints, but copying the whole personality seems iffy.

Diogenes - absolutely agree that it was necessary for our distant ancestors to die off generation after generation in order for us to evolve. However, when you reach the level where you can start to modify yourself, the rules could well change. As I've said elsewhere, I think that lifespan is becoming a limitation on our ability to innovate at this point - with the amount of knowledge we now have, we need more time to learn, gain perspective and make new connections than our ancestors ever did. And, if we can finally get a grip on space flight technology, we can open a new frontier - so people who are frustrated by old hidebound societies can head out to explore and innovate on the frontier.

Also, concerning the thing about ocean liners - I seem to recall various sci-fi stories over the last several decades also having cities built in domes under the sea... although I would be more careful about the environmental consequences of disturbing the seabed environment vs. desert and arctic tundra.


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