Discussion of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how these properties are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment
Senior Education Officer, BNHS, India. www.bnhs.org
Who says reason for world war III will be Petrol?
Reason lies in two words "Me and Mine".
Why does that have such symbolism on it?
Just wondering to myself
"And his sad unallied existence:
To which his spirit may oppose
Itself—an equal to all woes,
And a firm will, and a deep sense,
Which even in torture can descry
Its own concentred recompense,
Triumphant where it dares defy,
And making Death a Victory."
~Lord Byron (1788-1824)
~ George washington Carver
Maybe the focus should be less on did death evolve as death is probably a process that is inevitable due to the biochemistry. Our DNA is constantly being repaired as much as possible, but is sometimes overwhelmed- thats due to the physics and chemistry.
The question should be why, or did, 'death by old age' and specific lifespans evolve. Why is it that some animals die after reproduction is complete. Conversely, humans live unexpectedly long- possibly so grandparents can aid with their offspring's offspring rearing. But why not go further? Surely the selfish gene would rather have individuals live as long as possilble. Or is that wrong?
Because life is too tiring if we continued doing what we did double or triple the time we would be emotionally so tired dont you think?
If the old was never regenerated into the new then there would be overpopulation. If there was overpopulation, resources would become scarce, and as corny as it sonds the circle of life would be disturbed. If old doesnt die the new will be at a disadvantage as a result of exploitation of the resources.
First Member of "Photography Club"
I really think we would live a lot longer if we did not have the oxidizing effect of stress damaging DNA. Some of which is self inflicted.
One gov study showed that DNA was detrimentaly affected by volence.
you will have to take my word about this cause I can not remember the name of the study ( A US government reserch project) Of the control group A > watched only violent movies for a period of time I cant remember, Group B only watched nice happy movies. I think there was an other group who just went about business as usual, Samples were taken before and after, Can ya guess the results?
We kill our selfish gene ourselves.
perhaps it could go on indefinetly.
~ George washington Carver
Hmm, recycled arguments, but still an interesting discussion. I was afraid that the thread had *died* .
James, you touched on something important when you said circle of life. I know you were mainly talking about competition between young and old, and the necessity of the old passing on.
However, there is a more important attribute of death, and that is nutrient cycling. We all know about food webs. Well, lets look at salmon for example. Salmon spend most of their adult lives in the ocean, where they attain most of their body mass. Then they return to the rivers and streams to spawn and die. This death is very important, not only for the next generation of salmon, but to every species living in the riparian zones the salmon reach.
I recently read a study in which they demonstrated that significant amounts of nutrients derived from the ocean can be found in inland riparian vegetation as far as salmon reach. As a result, these riparian zones are healthier. The healthier riparian zones then have increased root mass and deadfalls in and across the water, providing refuge and nutrients for salmon fry. This is a positive feedback system that, bearing further study, could probably demonstrate that salmon death is an evolutionary trait.
What did the parasitic Candiru fish say when it finally found a host? - - "Urethra!!"
Maybe it was a "spandrel" of complexity, the maintenance of a complex organism is much more demanding that that of very early life (probably).
Also, if organisma reproduce, and gradually became more adapted to a changing environment through generations, then their ancestors would not be so well adapted and may have to die. Also if reproduction and no death occurred at the same time, then the organisma habitat would become overpopulated.
actually, on an idea related to death - aging and the gradual loss of function (e.g. fertility) is a part of evolutionary fitness.
a species as a whole might actually be more fit if it could die and reproduce.
i've a few ideas:
1. Death and birth cycles through generations, creating genetic diversity, which is crucial for organisms like bacteria that need to evolve antibiotic resistance, for example.
2. Death might be a result of a population reaching carrying capacity. The mortality rate increases as more organisms vie for the resources.
3. Death recycles material for life. Carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen, etc, etc. are all crucial to survival. If a species didn't die and help cycle on the nutrients, they'd consume all the nutrients and leave nothing at the end.
Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth.
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