Pyramid Philosophical

Friday, November 10, 2006

Death - A Requirement Of Evolution

I accept the philosophy of evolution (Darwinism). The modern human form has evolved over millions of years from the earliest primate and before that: back to the sea where it is imagined to have all begun.

It seems to me to be a basic requirement of such a theory to involve death. It has to happen. Within the same living life form it is technically possible to make genetic change. Gene therapy involves change within the living organism, but any correction doesn't go forward into the next generation. In fact, this is regarded as a negative possibility. Logically, it would be a more reasonable and a longer term objective to eradicate a problem by making a correction so that it can be moved forward into later generations. It is also clear that gene therapy is in its very early days and a great deal is experimental and not well understood.

Between one generation and the next there may be minor genetic alteration, some good and maybe some bad. Over time the bad changes are removed and the useful survives. Evolution happens over a long time measured in hundreds or thousands of years.

If 'tinkering' with genetics doesn't stop, at least until better understood, then the logical conclusion is the real possibility of the end of the species. Something that has taken millions of years to arrive at what it is today is being changed rapidly by the intervention of the species trying to modify itself. The 'playing God' scenario.

It doesn't take much to imagine the rise of the machines: computers improving themselves to achieve consciousness. And that's supposed to be fantasy.

Of course, cancers could be manifestations of changes in vivo: within the living form. A natural 'reverse gene therapy'.

Evolution has its mysterious actions and perhaps cancer is the prerequisite of advancement. Who can, or should, question the logic of nature? Certainly not anyone by the intervention of the species trying to modify itself.


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