That's an interesting viewpoint about aging: evolution selects for reproduction, but most species are more fertile when they're younger, meaning evolution has no reason to select for longer-lived organisms, although it would definitely be possible.
That's interesting, because I always wonder about aging. It seems like, if you wanted to live forever, being multicellular would be the way to go. Your cells can divide and divide and divide, and some might get killed but the surviving ones will just divide and replace those.
But, for some reason or another, as we age we get weaker and frailer until death. Why would that be?
You hear a number of explanations, like the one about how, when cells replicate their DNA, at the very end, a couple chunks are lost, kind of like frayed ends of a piece of string.
Luckily, we have bits of DNA called telomeres at the end of our DNA strands, but those get shortened progressively through life, until, theoretically, our cells can't divide like they used to and we die.
Or about how our cells are basically factories meant to break things down. And they're very good at it, but sometimes, they encounter weird things they just can't break down like they're used to, so they put them in their lysosomes, the things with the strongest enzymes, so they can break it up.
But if the lysosome can't break up this weird molecule, it sits there, forever.
Which is unsustainable, and therefore probably makes you age.
Or things about myelin and it's degradation with age, or other things.
But anyway, if you guys had the possibility to make everyone immortal, in that people no longer age, the mortality rate stays flat, with everyone dying from sickness or accidents unrelated to aging, would you do it?
Actuaries, the people who work for insurance companies and decide what your rates are, have determined the Average Joe, if he didn't age, would live on average about 6,000 years before dying from some sort of manual accident like a plane or car crash.
So, would you guys?
I don't think I would. If you never aged, you'd have no motivation to ever do things. You'd probably sit in your house, all day, terrified of something happening to you, because you know that way you'll never die.
As things are, people live a very long time. But still, our old age is close enough, we're moved to do things in our youth, to get in as much life as possible before we lose the ability to do so.
And if we make a mistake and kill ourselves, what of it? We were certain to die anyway.
Some people get terminal illnesses and use their time left to do the things we all wanted to do.
But, well, as it is, we all have a terminal illness, it's called aging. The illness is incurable, and with a 0% survival rate, although there are treatments and lifestyles that can slow the degradation.
And sometimes people forget that, and they forget to live their lives and enjoy them while they can. They spend so much time preparing for their life they forget to ever live it, and they only stop when they retire, already well aged.
But imagine how much worse it would be, if we all lived for thousands and thousands of years, and thus avoiding accident and illness would become that much more important, would save that many more years of life.
We'd be even more pussies than we are, and less comprehending of our own mortality.
It'd be long, boring existences we'd have.
But, perhaps more importantly, we wouldn't appreciate each other.
I appreciate many of the people in my life, because I know they won't always be here. I love my parents, but I recognize they don't have forever to live. Which just makes me appreciate them more.
I realize that, maybe 30, 40 years down the line, they won't be there anymore, they'll be gone.
And all the people in my life.
How could I possibly appreciate them if they were the same today as they were a thousand years ago and will be in a thousand years?
I'd never have to.