Archive for January, 2011

Understanding evolution post-Darwin (I)

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

We all need to understand science – it bears directly on how we live. Non-scientists should be able to grasp what is going on in the world of science. The knowledgeable citizen is probably a good citizen.

The most basic part of science is that there is life and consciousness, and that this is not limited to humans. Humans are probably not special at all as they may be part of a greater whole and in symbiosis with a huge number of organisms.

All the atoms that are you has a life force binding it all together. We don’t know this life force or why our atoms hang together the way they do. The cooperation of these atoms is at present a mystery, but there must be a logic or system behind it all. Humans are also developing or changing all the time as they adapt to “conditions” – internal and external. There seems to be a wholeness that require that you do this – or rather carries you along – or you disappear. Species of the Earth regenerate for a while – millions of years or shorter – and then they disappear. These processes are going on around us all the time.

We know of lots of species that have been here, but we don’t really know what is going on now – the numbers are unknown. These processes are only found on the Earth as far as we know, and scientists are looking for more.

The conditions under which we live on this Earth seens to be precisely balanced – there are restrictions that make us live on a very small part of the Earth and its atmosphere.

The lack of knowledge about the Earth is unbelievable. The numbers of organisms here seems to be huge and we are maybe surrounded by millions of species we have not yet seen.

And how did it all start? One spot of creation and then gradual adaptation into what we have today and that is not nearly finished or ever will be. And the big question for us now is: Is it possible for us to destroy it all? Ecologically we are behaving badly: bad air, dirty water, removing forests, emptying the ground, depleting resources….So where will we go: into destruction or into new positive developments?

Does it mattter what we do? Is science on the right rack? Do you understand it all – how serious is it? You should take an interest – it is about you and the future of mankind. Is that too big an issue for us?

Old people all die eventually, but much later than before

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

The babyboom has turned into a pensioners boom now, and people also live much longer than before. Our increased wealth, improved methods, more knowledge has made the average age of people increase rapidly – it is now increasing several months every five years.

Old age does not seem so frightening as before as your chances of dying as a person full of days are good and increasing all the time. Old age is still considered bad by youngsters, but remember – the years fly by for all of us – one day it is your turn.

The strange thing is that the processes of aging are not understood – there is no commonly accepted theory of aging – the factors involved, the processes.

But a longevity industry is prospering: substances, processes, treatments are there in a market with hundreds of billions of dollars. People are thus obviously willing to pay for a longer life, and some say a lot of it is rather good. There is also lots of research going on on a wide array of topics.  Aubrey de Grey is well known – he wants us to live a thousand years. Processes in our cells have attention, nutrition, psychology and fitness too – and genes. Knowledge is increasing.

In the meantime we have to accept that one day death will reach us all. Dying at an old age with most of your senses intact seems to be a good way out for most people. There is no need to think otherwise, that this is tragic or horrendous or fearsome – it is not. It is also of no use to think like that and it will all be in your mind only anyway.

Before you get there you should look after yourself as best you can: Eat well, work your body well, think well, live well, laugh and take part. You may beat the statistics too and get a good long life and a very short bad period before you die full of good days. So let us not worry, but accept and have a fine life until then.

“When death comes make it fast and sudden, preferably in my sleep. I have lived enough”.

Is this OK or should we think differently? Aubrey de Grey and his kind may be right you know, and one day they may show us how to keep on.

So we say that aging and dying is a natural thing – what if it is not? It may be due to our present lack of knowledge and lack of proper care.

But see to it that you live till you die!