Evolution, Immortality, and Humanity Essays

Evolution, Immortality, and Humanity Essays

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Our ancient ancestors in the Neolithic Era only lived for an average of 20 years, an age now considered to be only the beginning of adulthood. As human technology becomes more sophisticated and knowledge of the ourselves and of nature expands, humans develop longer lifespans and the general quality of life improves. In fact, we have more than tripled the lifespan of our ancestors while retaining much of the same biological fitness. Humans have withdrawn from natural selection because technologies (not the evolution of the body) allow humans to adapt to the ever-changing natural world. As a result, the biological evolution of the human physique has slowed significantly while the rest of nature continues the evolutionary process. The human body is not changing, or at least not fast enough, to combat rapidly evolving disease-causing agents or to be fit to live in environments that are vastly different from those that our ancestors lived in. Consequently, more and more strain is placed on the human bodies, causing humans to be vulnerable to an increasing number of health issues that longer life brings.
However, the remarkable advances in science and technology have uncovered extraordinary information that is key in understanding the biological mechanisms and processes that drive the human body. New technologies in genomics and cell encapsulation in have introduced possibilities for biological enhancements through modifications of organic structures and organisms that can extend human capabilities beyond their current limits. Even at the current, primitive stages of these technologies, therapeutic cells can be injected into the body that can target disease-causing agents or function as faulty or destroyed cells, potentially curing nu...

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Smith, Hamilton O, et al. “Generating a sythetic genome by whole genom assembly: φX174 bacteriophage from synthetic oligonucleotides.” PNAS 100 (2003): 15440-15445. Web. 23 Dec. 2003. Feb. 2010.
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Lartrigue, Carole, et al. “Genome Transplantation in Bacteria: Changing One Species to Another.” Science 317 (2007): 632-638. Web. 3 Aug. 2007. Feb. 2010.
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