The evolutionary theory of aging
The evolutionary theory of aging by A. Fomenko
At the next turn of anthropogenesis, a person will be able to cancel aging and diseases and radically prolong life. There will emerge a new species - Homo Deus (superman). People will live as long as possible, maintaining youth and activity.
Biological immortality is real. There are creatures that can live forever and not grow old (for example, the jellyfish Turritopsis dohrnii). According to our hypothesis, this ability is also potentially embedded in human. To unblock it and thus make an evolutionary breakthrough, most people must change their minds and reconsider their views on life, old age and death as the inevitable end for all living things.
The Great Filter and Anthropogenesis
Throughout the history of mankind, there were some setbacks, barriers (let's call them “the great filter”), which were extremely difficult or impossible to overcome. But each time the “living” still took upward and, through the mechanisms of natural selection and mutation, gradually became more complex, acquiring more and more new signs.
In human evolution, scientists identify several such crucial stages. For example, about 6-8 million years ago, herbivorous primates could be observed. Later, some of them became omnivorous (approximately 2-3 million years ago). It was this transition to the predatory strategy of life that led to the development of the genus Homo. Anthropologists associate the use of meat food with encephalization (increase of the brain size). On the contrary, the herbivorous "relatives" of Homo sapiens subsequently left the evolutionary arena.
The modern anatomical point of view is that the man was formed about 150 thousand years ago and lived in East Africa. Human’s development was influenced by many factors: the taming of fire, the manufacture of tools, the appearance of language, culture, etc. They can be considered as tools (mechanisms) by which the “great filter” was overcomed.
The current state of humanity was able to achieve primarily due to the complication of the brain and cognitive skills, that is, the ability to perceive and process information using verbal symbols. Cognitiveness influenced the development of such types of thinking as perception, memory, imagination and logic, contributed to self-awareness, the formation of all existing concepts, including life and death.
Guided evolution. On the border of the "great filter"
Among scientists there is no consensus about the future development of mankind. Some experts argue that evolution has largely ceased. Others, on the contrary, note that at the genetic level it continues, but acts in the opposite direction. Studies show the intellectual degradation of modern human (over the past decades, IQ ratios have begun to decline gradually). In addition, there are many concepts that suggest in the future a person’s symbiosis with machines, cyborgization of the body, etc.
In our opinion, the human came close to the next border of the "great filter". Overcoming it will lead to the transformation of Homo sapiens into Homo Deus. Unlike other species, man’s no longer a passive participant in evolutionary processes — we ourselves can control our development
In modern conditions, the influence of natural selection on human evolution has decreased. His place was taken by science and technological progress. Due to this, people continue to develop, acquire resistance to various diseases. Over the past two centuries, scientists have found a way to defeat diseases that were previously considered fatal. The invention of antibiotics, pain relief, vaccination, prosthetics, transplantation and other complex operations save people from many diseases and injuries. In most countries, mass infant mortality has declined.
More recently, our ancestors lived at best up to thirty years, died from a host of various causes: cold, famine, or the attack of large predators. Science and technical progress contributed to the fact that the average life expectancy from 25-40 years has grown to 70 years in the world as a whole and to 80 years in developed countries.
Similarly, aging is considered as a programmed mechanism to accelerate the evolution of man as a biological species. Previously, it contributed to the purification of the population from its predecessors and the release of living space and resources for offspring with new useful properties. If aging was an instrument of development for our ancestors, today it’s perceived as an atavism, therefore it should be abolished.
Bioengineering, regenerative medicine and nanotechnology will help to displace natural selection. The ability to modify genes opens up a large number of opportunities for a person. In the foreseeable future, new technologies will help to significantly change the physiology, mental abilities and life expectancy
Even today, scientists can control the evolution of various living organisms. In the laboratories of genetics breed new creatures, ignoring the initial signs of the body. For example, in 2000, there was the embryo of the rabbit with the introduced gene of jellyfish and it had green glow in the dark. The animal was the result of intelligent human action, not biological laws. The possibilities of science are not limited. Experts not only improve the lines of living beings on Earth, but even undertake to recreate long-extinct species.
Being able to control the evolution of other species, a person can control his own development. However, it’s important to set the correct vector for this process. Life is the main value, and it’s not limited to any term. Then old age and death, precisely violate this right. Based on this, the number one task for all mankind is to do everything possible to prolong life and eternal youth. But why is it still not implemented.
To answer the question, we use the logical principle of "Occam's razor". This rule states that of several assumptions explaining a certain phenomenon, the simplest one is most likely and deserves the first attention. In our opinion, people still have not created a cure for aging and continue to die, because they don’t want to live. This paradox arises from cognitive dissonance, which will be discussed later.
A shift in consciousness
Homo neanderthalensis, Homo soloensis, Homo erectus, Homo denisova, Homo rudolfensis, Homo ergaster lived on Earth about two million years ago. However, they all became extinct for various reasons, as they could not adapt to the new conditions. Today, evolution is also killing us, because we’re not changing. If nothing is done, then we can repeat the fate of our "wild relatives."
Modern people die because they have not reached a certain stage of development. To change this we must restructure our consciousness. Belief in the finiteness of life, which for centuries has been supported by all existing institutions, is the barrier that prevents humanity from passing through the “great filter”.
In most cultures, worldviews, religions, death is perceived as a given. From it derives the meaning of life. Researchers, thinkers have tried and are still trying to attach particular importance to death, and are not looking for ways to avoid it. Eternal youth and immortality for many people are dreams, and death is taken for granted or as something abstract that will surely happen, but not now, so they try not to think about it at all, filling their heads with infantile thoughts about material goods - cars, apartments, money and etc.
Everyone wants to live as long as possible, keeping youth and activity. But most people do nothing for it. There is a cognitive dissonance caused by a clash in the minds of conflicting ideas.
Once upon a time death was a natural inevitability, but today, due to new knowledge, nothing is impossible for a person.
It’s natural for a person to have passion for life, and not look for meaning in death and put up with the inevitability of old age. According to our hypothesis, Homo sapiens will be able to overcome the “great filter” if the following statements are generally accepted by the majority:
• Aging is the curable disease.
• Death is a given, but not an obligatory end.
The human body is a complex machine with a hundreds of processes. Diseases are technical errors, aging is the accumulation of mechanical problems. And death should be taken only as a software failure, expressed in the form of infections, cancer, wounds, etc. Any technical problem has a solution. Similarly, the situation is with the human body: infections are treated with antibiotics, cancer - with chemotherapy, if an organ doesn’t work well, then it can be replaced. Medicine is developing rapidly, it’s time to point therapy, which will help the latest innovative developments.
Soon we’ll learn to solve most of the "technical problems" of the human body. Moreover, today there is enough knowledge to start working on a medicine that would contribute to a radical extension of life. But the entire scientific world must focus on this task. Scientists should become one of the first people to cast aside old beliefs and restructure their consciousness.
Today, the struggle with old age and the desire for "eternal youth" still have not become the primary tasks for researchers around the world. Just one example: according to our calculations, at the moment about $ 2 billion and 3,000 employees of commercial companies, as well as about $ 3 billion and 7,000 scientists are involved in the process of developing methods for radical life extension. This is less than 0.1% of the world's health care spending! The efforts and funds are clearly not enough to step over the border of the “great filter”.
Technological revolution, contributing to a radical extension of life, is impossible without a change in consciousness. These are interconnected things. We must really want to live, not wait, when the “pill for old age” will be invented. Even today, every person is able to increase his life by about 30% (without using any special tools), following a number of simple rules, including regular physical activity, healthy eating, limiting unhealthy habits and stresses, maintaining sleep hygiene, etc. It’s difficult to cope with cognitive dissonance without actions discussed above, which means you can’t change your mind and believe in your own strength.
We have a gift of immortality since birth. Our goal is to understand how to activate it. If this happened to other living creatures, then it should happen to a human. In this case, progress doesn’t necessarily happen only at the expense of high technology. When something new is created by a living, it’s much more valuable. Therefore, in order to conquer aging and death, people should use the internal resources of the body. The discoveries of the last decades have broken many axioms and scientific dogmas that seemed undeniable. An example is epigenetics - a new trend in modern research, which produced the effect of a bombshell in biology. It became clear that human life isn’t predetermined by its genes. It’s influenced by a whole set of epigenetic factors. The functioning of the body depends on the way of thinking, habits and behavior of people. This also applies to mutations that we can accelerate. Everything depends on us. A person can live happily ever after, if he’s able to change his body. You also need to understand that the "monkey with a grenade" won’t be able to pass the "great filter." This isn’t about intellectual abilities but a high level of moral development. Demanding on one’s personal qualities is inherent in the desire to preserve and improve health. A significant role is played by moral values. Morality must be educated during life. To be healthy and to live long, you need to develop in yourself abstention from excesses and other harmful factors. Anyone who doesn’t control feelings and desires, expects to get physical and mental fatigue, premature wearout of the body. And this is a barrier to a long and happy life without disease. To live consciously, knowing about personal responsibility and observing moral laws, means to understand the perfection of life and find harmony with the world. If a person performs internal work, practices certain techniques, then regardless of past experience, genetics, environment, one will be able to completely change himself in a short period of time.
The accumulation of new knowledge, the understanding that a person is the creator of his own life, should lead to a shift in minds, which will push humanity to the next stage in the evolution of Homo sapiens. People will be able to independently "turn on" and "turn off" certain genes, due to this live a radically long time and, possibly, come closer to immortality.
The key to eternal youth is inside of us. But it doesn’t mean that everything will happen by itself. A person shouldn’t stop self-improvement. Accepting responsibility for one’s health and life, as well as “training” the brain (enhancing cognitive abilities) and awareness should be tools to achieve this goal. If this doesn’t happen, then humanity as a biological form may cease to exist or be permanently stuck on the border of the “great filter”. We die because we deserve it.
Expansion of knowledge about the quantum world and modern theories of consciousness force us to look at the problem of extending life from a completely different angle, or at least to think about the fact that there may be other scenarios
With the advent of quantum mechanics, new unusual properties of matter were discovered. It became clear that it consists of "invisible" elementary particles that behave in a certain way: sometimes demonstrating the properties of particles, and sometimes the form of energy waves (wave-particle duality). Once in sight of the observer, they are forced to "determine" with their form and behave accordingly.
In the quantum world, particles can be multitasking and be in two places at the same time (a phenomenon called superposition), and also able to pass through solid objects (quantum tunneling). In addition, two particles can get "tangled", instantly exchanging information at a distance of one inch or a thousand light years. At the same time, just observing one particle will change the charge of another, regardless of where it’s in the Universe at the moment. Albert Einstein called this phenomenon "the spooky action at a distance". On this knowledge is based many hypotheses, trying to explain the nature of consciousness, the physics of space-time.
Prominent English scientist Roger Penrose was one of the first to suggest that consciousness can’t only have an impact on quantum processes, but itself, in all likelihood, is of a quantum nature and occurs inside microtubules of neurons.
Penrose believes that the perception of the passage of time is one of the most striking and immediate properties of consciousness. In the general theory of relativity, time is just one of the coordinates for describing the position of a certain event in the four-dimensional world. It’s static and not able to "flow" as well as space. Why do we feel its move? At any moment we have a feeling that the past has already happened, and the future doesn’t exist yet, and that now everything is changing. All that we’re ever aware of is the perception of the world by us at any given moment that develops into experience. The reason is that the brain contains memories of this experience. Due to the peculiarities of our perception, the brain registers changes in the surrounding world, which we interpret as the passage of time. According to Penrose, the only thing that we really perceive is the present moment.
A well-known American biologist Robert Lanza develops his concept of quantum consciousness. According to his theory of "biocentrism", life creates the reality surrounding us, as well as all that exists in the Universe. Perception of reality, according to Lanza, occurs through consciousness. It relates to physical processes. Therefore, our external and internal sensations, in his opinion, are inextricably linked.
The scientist comes to the conclusion that the behavior of elementary particles (and in general of any particles and objects) is inextricably linked with the presence of a conscious observer. Otherwise, all the "puzzles" of reality exist in an uncertain probabilistic state. Based on this opinion, time as such doesn’t exist outside of our sensory perception. It’s a process of comprehending the changes occurring in the Universe surrounding us. Consciousness only “animates” before our eyes the motionless “frames” of the states of space, turning them into events. The sensation of movement is formed in our minds, when the mind combines these shots into a video sequence
Roger Penrose and Robert Lanza view time as a product of consciousness, a category of thinking that helps comprehend the world. It’s believed that time and space itself emerge as a result of decoherence of the quantum state of elementary particles. In other words, time’s created by outside observers. If these hypotheses are confirmed, then it’s quite possible that in the distant future such observers will be able not only to set the direction, but also to influence the course of time itself, and hence on such temporal biological processes as old age and death.