Feb 1, 2011

Human Biological Immortality in 50 years

Posted by in categories: biological, complex systems, futurism

I believe that death due to ageing is not an absolute necessity of human nature. From the evolutionary point of view, we age because nature withholds energy for somatic (bodily) repairs and diverts it to the germ-cells (in order to assure the survival and evolution of the DNA). This is necessary so that the DNA is able to develop and achieve higher complexity.

Although this was a valid scenario until recently, we have now evolved to such a degree that we can use our intellect to achieve further cognitive complexity by manipulating our environment. This makes it unnecessary for the DNA to evolve along the path of natural selection (which is a slow and cumbersome, ‘hit-and-miss’ process), and allows us to develop quickly and more efficiently by using our brain as a means for achieving higher complexity. As a consequence, death through ageing becomes an illogical and unnecessary process. Humans must live much longer than the current lifespan of 80–120 years, in order for a more efficient global evolutionary development to take place.

It is possible to estimate how long the above process will take to mature (see figure below). Consider that the creation of the DNA was approximately 2 billion years ago, the formation of a neuron (cell) several million years ago, that of an effective brain (Homo sapiens sapiens) 200 000 years ago, and the establishment of complex societies (Ancient Greece, Rome, China etc.) thousands of years ago. There is a logarithmic reduction of the time necessary to proceed to the next more complex step (a reduction by a factor of 100). This means that global integration (and thus indefinite lifespans) will be achieved in a matter of decades (and certainly less than a century), starting from the 1960s-1970s (when globalisation in communications, travel and science/technology started to became established). This leaves another maximum of 50 years before the full global integration becomes established.

Each step is associated with a higher level of complexity, and takes a fraction of the timein order to mature, compared to the previous one.

1. DNA (organic life — molecules: billions of years)

2. Neuron (effective cells: millions of years)

3. Brain (complex organisms — Homo sapiens: thousands of years)

4. Society (formation of effective societies: several centuries)

5. Global Integration (formation of a ‘super-thinking entity’: several decades)

Step number 5 implies that humans who have already developed an advance state of cognitive complexity and sophistication will transcend the limits of evolution by natural selection, and therefore, by default, must not die through ageing. Their continual life is a necessary requirement of this new type of evolution.

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  1. robomoon says:

    Death through aging is not becoming the only illogical and unnecessary process. Dullness through aging is similarly illogical and unnecessary. See, only dullness hinders me to respond to something important like the previous blog entry “Summary of My Scientific Results on the LHC-Induced Danger to the Planet”,
    posted by Otto E. Rössler. And the older I am, the less my aging brain works enough for making a useful response to one of the next topics that are important like the previous one. Oh, and my response to your blog message would not go with the following process 1. DNA, 2. Neuron, 3. Brain… Due to the aging brain, it rather goes 1. DNA, 2. Neuron, 3. Duller.

  2. An evolutionary machine is now working and will likely make it possible to change human nature within ten years — today date 2011 from George Church geneticist at Harvard School at Boston.….