Re: "Immortality" gene revealed

Anders Sandberg (
03 Jan 1998 02:01:29 +0100

Erik Moeller <> writes:

> Maybe it would be helpful to create a detailed table/overview of species
> which do not age, including their habitat. Parallels?

I'll post one tomorrow (promise) when I get to my office and can look
it up in Hayflick. I recall that most of the apparently "immortal"
species were aquatic, and most were "primitive".

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. 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 :-)

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y