World, Writing, Wealth discussion

67 views
The Lounge: Chat. Relax. Unwind. > Would reproduction be important to immortals?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 53 (53 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15391 comments Sure, this is a theoretical question, that's why it's in a lounge section, but what do you think? -:)


message 2: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments Immortal as in "doesn't age, don't die of natural causes, but can be killed or kill themselves" or immortal as in "unkillable"?

I think the first kind might consider reproduction important to a degree, but the latter kind probably not so much.


message 3: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "Immortal as in "doesn't age, don't die of natural causes, but can be killed or kill themselves" or immortal as in "unkillable"?

I think the first kind might consider reproduction important to a de..."


Probably not. There's space to consider.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Not to mention competition for power/resources.


message 5: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments If one is immortal, there is no need for reproduction. All that there is will always be.

It would be terrible to be immortal. Just think of the worst scenario: maimed and damaged beyond recognition--eternal hell.


message 6: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15391 comments Interesting. As most answers so far are negative, shall we infer that children are viewed to some degree as the means to leave something behind, to keep living after death and beyond this context may be (much) less significant?


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11251 comments It is. There are immortals - single cell bacteria, and they reproduce like crazy. However, evolution requires that something kills them, otherwise the world gets full of them and they die anyway through lack of food.

If we mean immortal people, once they reach a balance where ether his just enough resources, they have to stop reproducing, or they have to start killing each other. Take your pick :-)


message 8: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Kuhn (kevinkuhn) | 45 comments Depends on the definition of immortal - to dogs, we may seem immortal. In addition, immortals may still feel the urge to develop or nurture. Think Louis and Claudia in Interview with the Vampire.


message 9: by Mehreen (last edited Jan 23, 2017 04:24PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Nik wrote: "Interesting. As most answers so far are negative, shall we infer that children are viewed to some degree as the means to leave something behind, to keep living after death and beyond this context m..."

Oh there has to be children, I am guessing. But not all that many.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Children are extensions of the parents' dreams, egos and ambitions. That's why Greek and Roman gods had so many children with the humans lol.


message 11: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Tara wrote: "Children are extensions of the parents' dreams, egos and ambitions. That's why Greek and Roman gods had so many children with the humans lol."

HAHAHA Greek gods were debauchers.


message 12: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments I guess we have to have children Mehreen, in order to teach them our sins.


message 13: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments GR wrote: "I guess we have to have children Mehreen, in order to teach them our sins."

Good one, I guess.


message 14: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15391 comments GR wrote: "I guess we have to have children Mehreen, in order to teach them our sins."

Some of them can teach us -:)


message 15: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Nik wrote: "GR wrote: "I guess we have to have children Mehreen, in order to teach them our sins."

Some of them can teach us -:)"


That too.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Mehreen wrote: "Tara wrote: "Children are extensions of the parents' dreams, egos and ambitions. That's why Greek and Roman gods had so many children with the humans lol."

HAHAHA Greek gods were debauchers."


Lol yeah. Must have subconsciously erased that part lol.


message 17: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Tara wrote: "Mehreen wrote: "Tara wrote: "Children are extensions of the parents' dreams, egos and ambitions. That's why Greek and Roman gods had so many children with the humans lol."

HAHAHA Greek gods were ..."


totally cracking up. lol.


message 18: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15391 comments What do u think?


message 19: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5984 comments Would their children be immortal? If not, that's a definite no.


message 20: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11251 comments If all dependents are immortal, and so on, there is going to be a serious overpopulation problem sooner or later.


message 21: by J.N. (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 104 comments Aha, but the movie "Highlander" taught us that immortals can still be killed. Overpopulation problem solved.

"In the end, there can be only one."
-- the Kurgan


message 22: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11251 comments Yep, everyone running around cutting off each others' heads. That sounds like a great civilisation.


message 23: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5984 comments But if you're immortal and your children aren't, why would you have them? That's asking for the ultimate pain.


message 24: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11251 comments The original post was would reproduction be important to immortals. I assumed from that, there were lots of immortals, and by genetics, the offspring would be immortal. If they were not, it raises a real issue, and I guess they would not want them, unless, like the Greek gods, they just ignored them


message 25: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15391 comments Ian wrote: "Greek gods, they just ignored them..."

In a way, children may be viewed as conquering death, by leaving another living being behind, originated from your own bio- material. Egocentric, as humans are, when immortal they indeed may be indifferent towards offsprings like Greek gods


message 26: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11251 comments If, as J.N. suggested, immortals can be killed by having their heads cut off, and given the way some families behave, the immortal might decide not to have kids because the risk of losing his head might be too high?


message 27: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5984 comments Then there was Cronus, an immortal Titan in Greek mythology, who swallowed his immortal children as soon as they were born because of a prophecy that one of them would overthrow him. His wife finally outsmarted him by substituting a swaddled stone for Zeus, who eventually did overthrow him and became king of the gods. Tricky. And maybe a reason not to have children. Or a wife.


message 28: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15391 comments Scout wrote: "And maybe a reason not to have children. Or a wife. ..."

Or not to be a god


message 29: by Esther (new)

Esther Tubbs | 36 comments Lol!! Right!


message 30: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15391 comments So, would immortality be a sound counter to the expected decline in fertility?


message 31: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 4176 comments Children are a necessity for any species to evolve and hopefully advance.

Immortality is an evolutionary dead end which squanders resources on increasing obsolete undead individuals at the cost of future generations whose potential mutations could create new worlds.


message 32: by G.R. (new)

G.R. Paskoff (grpaskoff) | 254 comments I guess the assumption here is that we are starting with a mortal species that evolves to a near-immortal life-span, and hence, will reproduction become an unnecessary, vestigial biological function?

J, I find your second statement fascinating. Now without turning this into a religious discussion, where would that leave, say, God? What if said immortal being creates/reproduces mortal creatures for that very purpose: in the hopes that future potential mutations could populate new worlds?


message 33: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11251 comments More interesting regarding immortality, what would immortals do to deal with the inevitable boredom?


message 34: by Graeme (last edited Jul 17, 2020 04:43PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Ian wrote: "More interesting regarding immortality, what would immortals do to deal with the inevitable boredom?"

They would be stuck with it.

Hence, why immortality is a curse. The only way to escape would be to ditch memory and live in an eternal present filled with novelty. Of course without memory of any sort there goes identity formation and the capacity to learn.

If you have memory - an (effective) infinity of time overwhelms a finite capacity for novel experience. Eventually everything would become stale and repetitive.

In the end, the immortal would long for release (oblivion) from the prison of existential suffering.


message 35: by J. (last edited Jul 17, 2020 06:06PM) (new)

J. Gowin | 4176 comments G.R. wrote: "I guess the assumption here is that we are starting with a mortal species that evolves to a near-immortal life-span, and hence, will reproduction become an unnecessary, vestigial biological functio..."

Are we talking about something that we might be able to comprehend, like the multitude of ancient ones (gardeners) which populate Sci-fi? Or are we talking about beings that have worked out how to recreate the Big Bang? The former would be highly advanced versions of us. The latter wouldn't even necessarily be in our time frame because they created our time from a different universe.


message 36: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 4176 comments Graeme wrote: "Ian wrote: "More interesting regarding immortality, what would immortals do to deal with the inevitable boredom?"

They would be stuck with it.

Hence, why immortality is a curse. The only way to e..."


I remember reading an article in Scientific American, in the 1990's, that considered the nature of true eternal life. Eternal as in still being a conscious being in 1x10^100 years. This would be well into the Heat Death of the Universe.

They came to the conclusion that it was possible if you were willing to constantly slow the rate of your cognition (nothing is going on anyway), and you had to be willing to accept a limited number of particles with which to construct memory (have new thought, forget old thought).

Eternity in a cold lightless void, unable to remember our current era of light, warmth, and life. Not even capable of knowing that you are thinking the same thoughts over and over, slower and slower for all eternity.


message 37: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan J. wrote: "Graeme wrote: "Ian wrote: "More interesting regarding immortality, what would immortals do to deal with the inevitable boredom?"

They would be stuck with it.

Hence, why immortality is a curse. Th..."


That was what I was thinking too.

If you truly cannot die you have a massive problem as the universe will age and then spend and effective infinite amount of time with nothing happening apart from getting colder.

Contrawise - all the interesting stuff will happen in a thin slice of time at the beginning of the universe while there is energy to power complexity (reverse entropy).

Once all the entropy engines (stars) have run their course - the universe is on a fast track to entropic oblivion.

Which sparks a short story idea - "The last star." What civilization would hover around the last dying star and how would they experience their impending doom?


message 38: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan One could feed off gravitational momentum for a time as galaxies wound down their spin.


message 39: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11251 comments Hi Graeme, Unless there is something that gives friction, galaxies will not wind down. And if you were about the last star, you would not know about other stars because you could no longer see them. Whether they could comprehend "impending doom" is an interesting question.


message 40: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5984 comments Nik's question was: "So, would immortality be a sound counter to the expected decline in fertility?" Well, decline in fertility doesn't mean the end of the species. If it's a problem, we'll solve it, as we do. Immortality, if it exists, isn't meant for humans.


message 41: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Ian wrote: "Hi Graeme, Unless there is something that gives friction, galaxies will not wind down. And if you were about the last star, you would not know about other stars because you could no longer see them..."

Gravity waves would indicate the presence of dead stars, a sufficiently advanced tech would be able to detect them.

yes, ... winding down would take an infinite amount of time.


message 42: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11251 comments Graeme, if all they could see was their own star, leaving aside how they could resolve the mess of very low intensity gravity waves, why would they look at gravity waves? They cannot see any reason to try!


message 43: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan I'm presupposing a capacity to tap galactic momentum as an energy source... (pure 'hand waving,' sci-fi).


message 44: by Catalina (new)

Catalina We are presupposing that the immortals in question must be living in a mortal environment. However, if they are far wiser/more technologically advanced than us, wouldn't they be able to figure out what makes them immortal and thus be able to create an immortal environment for themselves?


message 45: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15391 comments To my surprise, most choose to focus on a negative side. But, for example, it enables to beat the famous adage "So many books, so little time" :)
Apart from evolution in the sense of species' mutations and replacement, there is a personal evolution too. More experienced, less naive, does a person become better or worse with the age?
Immortality as being unkillable is hardly possible, but I believe that conquering aging is certainly a solvable scientific task that may offer unbound or at least very long longevity.
We are bio-programmed to develop from a single cell to a whole organism, but then the regeneration part is switched off, so we, for example, don't reproduce nerve-cells. However, it probably can be changed...


message 46: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11251 comments I gather there is new evidence that brain cells can regenerate but the problem with cells replacing themselves is that very low probability errors accumulate. A single cell creature is immortal in a sense because when it reproduces, if there is an error in one either it becomes a new strain or it dies. But a new strain in the body is not good news because the rest doesn't know what to do with it. Also, the gene telomers shorten as the body ages and you can't re-lengthen them because the body has forgotten what they were. Eventually, we cark it. Maybe we can lengthen life, but as we gradually decay, there may come a point when one decides it isn't worth it.


message 47: by Catalina (last edited Jul 18, 2020 05:56AM) (new)

Catalina So humans can’t become immortal because we can’t keep reproducing at a micro level, only a macro level. What level are these immortals reproducing on? Are they human like?


message 48: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Catalina wrote: "So humans can’t become immortal because we can’t keep reproducing at a micro level, only a macro level. What level are these immortals reproducing on? Are they human like?"

In the sense that an entity is immortal (non-ageing, and perhaps unable to die) otherwise human like.


message 49: by Catalina (last edited Jul 18, 2020 06:00AM) (new)

Catalina Bee colonies as a whole organism are immortal (though not immune to being killed) and reproduce themselves as a whole when they swarm. If we think of immortals on this model, immortal but not immune, then yes, they would probably reproduce.


message 50: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Catalina wrote: "Bee colonies as a whole organism are immortal (though not immune to being killed) and reproduce themselves as a whole when they swarm. If we think of immortals on this model, immortal but not immun..."


If you are a distributed intelligence that is reliant upon a number of sub-elements (individual bees) that are reproducible than you are potentially immortal/very-long lived.

This would be true for a human with highly effective individual cell regeneration - such that they would not age and would heal quickly from wounds -a staple of many a sci-fi/fantasy story. But not out of the bounds of being technically feasible.


« previous 1
back to top