Re:"Immortality" gene revealed

Brian D Williams (
Mon, 5 Jan 1998 10:16:30 -0800 (PST)

From: Anders Sandberg <>

>It seems to me that it is likely (I'll check this) that the
>species that are "immortal" live a fairly dangerous life but where
>it is possible to find safe niches. Then selection would favor
>long-lived individuals who produced offspring all life.

I remember reading some time ago that an insurance company
actuarial sat down and computed how long the average person would
live, if we didn't have an defined lifespan. As I recall, he
computed the average to be around 734 before one accident or
another did us in. If we intend to live longer, we will have to
look at this...... ;)

>For other animals the basic strategy is simply making sure enough
>offspring survive, and the fate of the parents after that is
>irrelevant; genes leading to a gradual breakdown but increasing
>survival in adolescence would be promoted. Of course, this means
>we can gradually select away at least some aspects of aging by not
>having children before 30, then 40, then 50... (but I doubt
>anybody here has the patience for that scheme :-)

I believe we are seeing this now as technology prolongs the period
human females remain fertile. Recent experiments in egg freezing
will increase this. We are also seeing an increase in latter
pregnancy by feminists who pursued careers first. I have two
friends who didn't have there first till 40. (both happy and
healthy by the way). So we are seeing this as a social phenomenon
as well.

Another excellent post Anders.....

Member,Extropy Institute