What if we could live forever?
Why do we get old? *Sigh* I wrote about this in a previous book! Can’t you recall? Are…well…as we age…we forget things. We get old simply because our cells replicate and are replaced. As they replicate, the DNA that makes us, makes mistakes. The mistakes become our ageing process. Our skin gets wrinkly, our organs become weaker, and we generally degenerate. THIS SOUNDS horrific! Seriously, every part of our bodies becomes weaker and less effective. We do retain more knowledge because we have seen and heard and learned more things, but that’s just about the only upside here! So, what if our cells could generate new cells without these errors in the code? What if our cells never made mistakes and we never aged. Goodbye terrible, creaky knees!
Say hello to eternal life (almost)
Some jellyfish can live eternally as their cells replicate perfectly and don’t age. They only die when someone squishes them. Of course, they don’t have a brain, so it’s not really that incredibly heartbreaking. Imagine a deer - it feels and thinks, just like us. All animals do. If we can live forever, we will never need to feel the fear of dying or getting old. Our loved ones will stay by our side perpetually. This is rather wonderful, isn’t it? There’s a catch. In fact, there are multiple catches.
Catch A) Earth is not eternal
Earth has a use-by-date, just like cookies. In about 4 billion years, the Earth will be consumed in a huge, fiery barbecue by the Sun and we can’t prevent it. There is literally nothing we can do. Although the universe is infinite, it has a finite amount of fuel inside the stars. Eventually, the stars will all die by exploding (exciting), turning into black holes, or just sleeping (not scientifically accurate). Every planet in the universe teeming with life depends on a star for its radiation (energy moving) and for life. Although, we could create artificial life and get by like that, but could we make enough for everyone?
Catch B) Too many hoomans
If humans don’t perish, we will rapidly have a massive HOOOOOOMAN conundrum. There would be far, far too many to be supported by the ecosystems of Earth. Earth is already straining to hold up and support the current population because humans tend to put our needs before the needs of the planet to feed ourselves, house ourselves, and move ourselves. More humans would lead to more damage and we’d swiftly enter the realm of apocalyptic climate change. NOOooooooooooooooo!
Catch C) Life cycles
Perhaps the most poignant reason that living forever isn’t so viable is that it stands in opposition to nature, generally speaking. Every atom on Earth IS eternal. They never vanish or disappear. They may change shape from a teacher called James to a camel’s butt and then to a mushroom, but they are still there. James may seem to disappear just like the camel’s bottom and the mushroom, but they are still here. When one living thing dies, it produces the energy for a new living thing to live. Pick up a carrot and look at its atoms. You may notice that those atoms used to be billions of other things. We are all eternal.