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  1. #1
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    Debating the Cause of Death & Aging

    I decided to relocate this comment from the previous thread because I believe it is worthy of a much broader debate since death and it's cause is a central theme within the Bible. So, on to your comment about death.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    It would be good if you could respond to my answer that death does not need an explanation of the kind given in the Bible. It necessarily follows from the fact that we are compound beings. The Biblical explanation makes no sense because death is a natural part of reality. It gives a false explanation of why we die.
    Since you reject the Biblical reason for death, perhaps you could take some time to present a scientific reason as to why we age and die. I have already stated the very rational Biblical explanation.

    Much peace to you my friend,

    Richard
    And as always to you too Richard,

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    I decided to relocate this comment from the previous thread because I believe it is worthy of a much broader debate since death and it's cause is a central theme within the Bible. So, on to your comment about death.
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough
    It would be good if you could respond to my answer that death does not need an explanation of the kind given in the Bible. It necessarily follows from the fact that we are compound beings. The Biblical explanation makes no sense because death is a natural part of reality. It gives a false explanation of why we die.
    Since you reject the Biblical reason for death, perhaps you could take some time to present a scientific reason as to why we age and die. I have already stated the very rational Biblical explanation.
    The Bible doesn't give any "reason" for death other than saying that God cursed us. What are we supposed to believe, that God changed our DNA so we would slowly grow old and ultimately die? Is there any reason to believe that? It doesn't give any explanation as to why people die if they fall off a cliff or get crushed under a rock.

    The reasons for death are quite plain and obvious. First, death comes through many causes, not merely old age. Predation, disease, famine, accident. It is the natural consequence of being a compound organism. Your position implies that an ant wouldn't die if Adam accidentally stepped on it. That seems unjustifiable and absurd to me.

    The scientific reasons for death are rather obvious. The cells of your body are constantly reproducing. But they don't reproduce perfectly, so the longer you live, the more chance there is that you will have a mutation that causes a disease like cancer, dementia, or whatever.

    And there is an evolutionary explanation for aging. Natural selection acts only on genes that are vital for survival. That's why fish that have lived for many generations in dark caves lose their eyes. Detrimental random mutations are not selected against because there is no selection for sight in a dark cave. This has been documented. It is a scientific fact that has been observed in many species. Primates and humans have lost a lot of their ability to smell because their reliance on eyes reduced the selective pressure on the olfactory sense [link]. This may explain why we age. There is nothing to select for genes that make us live longer. We've already reproduced, and it's better for our offspring if we get out of the way before too long. It gives them a chance to reproduce and pass on their new, more fit genes.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    The Bible doesn't give any "reason" for death other than saying that God cursed us. What are we supposed to believe, that God changed our DNA so we would slowly grow old and ultimately die? Is there any reason to believe that? It doesn't give any explanation as to why people die if they fall off a cliff or get crushed under a rock.
    To recite the Biblical reason for death, it is the consequent sentence of the first man's act of disobedience, passed on to his subsequent generations.

    The reasons for death are quite plain and obvious.
    Yes, there are many causes of death. Can you cite why the body mechanisms fail apart from unproven theories?

    Your position implies that an ant wouldn't die if Adam accidentally stepped on it. That seems unjustifiable and absurd to me.
    You and I do not know the answer to that question because the world we've inherited is the only one we know. The Bible states that there is coming a time and place where there shall be no more death and dying, based on the reliability of that statement... there will be no dead ants.

    The scientific reasons for death are rather obvious. The cells of your body are constantly reproducing. But they don't reproduce perfectly, so the longer you live, the more chance there is that you will have a mutation that causes a disease like cancer, dementia, or whatever.
    This seems to be where we disconnect in the debate, so let me refocus it. Why don't the cells reproduce perfectly? Why are there mutations? What is the cause of the mutation?

    And there is an evolutionary explanation for aging. Natural selection acts only on genes that are vital for survival. That's why fish that have lived for many generations in dark caves lose their eyes. Detrimental random mutations are not selected against because there is no selection for sight in a dark cave. This has been documented. It is a scientific fact that has been observed in many species. Primates and humans have lost a lot of their ability to smell because their reliance on eyes reduced the selective pressure on the olfactory sense [link]. This may explain why we age. There is nothing to select for genes that make us live longer. We've already reproduced, and it's better for our offspring if we get out of the way before too long. It gives them a chance to reproduce and pass on their new, more fit genes.
    So the question still remains... Why do these all of these factors work against life?

    Finally, to close, here's a quote from an article titled "What causes aging and death":

    "As quoted in my course Is Eternal Youth a Possibility?* Consciousness Seeks Its Perfect Expression:* "Science cannot find any reason for aging and death to occur.* As an example, Ricklefs and Finch in their book, Aging: A Natural History state, 'Next to the miracle of life itself, aging and death are perhaps the greatest mysteries.'* In the book How and Why We Age, the famous Dr. Leonard Hayflick adds, "It is not obvious why aging and death should occur...we know of no good reason why aging should happen.'* Nobel Prize winner Dr. Alexis Carrel states, 'The cell is immortal.* It is merely the fluid in which it floats that degenerates...and so far as we now know, the pulsation of life may go on forever.'*

    God's very best to you Richard.

    John

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    To recite the Biblical reason for death, it is the consequent sentence of the first man's act of disobedience, passed on to his subsequent generations.
    Like I said, the Bible doesn't given any reason for death of the kind that you are demanding from me. Science can tell us why we die. For example, we die when we get crushed by a rock because the rock destroys the integrity of the body. The Bible does not give any explanation like this, yet you demand such from me. You are being inconsistent. You have a double standard.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Yes, there are many causes of death. Can you cite why the body mechanisms fail apart from unproven theories?
    I wish I could make you see how ironic it is for you to call science "unproven theories" even as you appeal to the Bible as absolute fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    You and I do not know the answer to that question because the world we've inherited is the only one we know. The Bible states that there is coming a time and place where there shall be no more death and dying, based on the reliability of that statement... there will be no dead ants.
    What reliability? The Bible has nothing like the evidence supporting science. Remember, you believe the Bible by faith without evidence, whereas science is based entirely on evidence that can be verified. Look around you! The proof is everywhere. TVs, computers, cars, planes, cell phones - they are all the product of those scientific theories you reject so glibly.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    This seems to be where we disconnect in the debate, so let me refocus it. Why don't the cells reproduce perfectly? Why are there mutations? What is the cause of the mutation?
    Cells don't reproduce perfectly because other forces interfere with the physical process. This is common knowledge that has been verified. We can induce mutations by exposing DNA to x-rays.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    So the question still remains... Why do these all of these factors work against life?
    They don't all work against life. On the contrary, natural selection is what drives the evolution of life constantly endowing the organisms with greater and greater adaptation to their environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Finally, to close, here's a quote from an article titled "What causes aging and death":

    "As quoted in my course Is Eternal Youth a Possibility?* Consciousness Seeks Its Perfect Expression:* "Science cannot find any reason for aging and death to occur.* As an example, Ricklefs and Finch in their book, Aging: A Natural History state, 'Next to the miracle of life itself, aging and death are perhaps the greatest mysteries.'* In the book How and Why We Age, the famous Dr. Leonard Hayflick adds, "It is not obvious why aging and death should occur...we know of no good reason why aging should happen.'* Nobel Prize winner Dr. Alexis Carrel states, 'The cell is immortal.* It is merely the fluid in which it floats that degenerates...and so far as we now know, the pulsation of life may go on forever.'*
    Those quotes come from http://www.sunwarriorblog.com. They are trying to hawk their super-foods to keep you young. They have a vested interest in selling their age-reversal products. Surely you could find a better source for scientific data! You don't know the context the quotes were taken from. You don't even know if they are accurate. They don't sound like they came from real scientists. Real scientists don't say things like "the cell is immortal" and they don't talk about "the pulsation of life." From a scientific point of view, there is no such thing as the "pulsation of life." That theory is called "vitalism" and there is no evidence supporting it at all.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Finally, to close, here's a quote from an article titled "What causes aging and death":

    "As quoted in my course Is Eternal Youth a Possibility?* Consciousness Seeks Its Perfect Expression:* "Science cannot find any reason for aging and death to occur.* As an example, Ricklefs and Finch in their book, Aging: A Natural History state, 'Next to the miracle of life itself, aging and death are perhaps the greatest mysteries.'* In the book How and Why We Age, the famous Dr. Leonard Hayflick adds, "It is not obvious why aging and death should occur...we know of no good reason why aging should happen.'* Nobel Prize winner Dr. Alexis Carrel states, 'The cell is immortal.* It is merely the fluid in which it floats that degenerates...and so far as we now know, the pulsation of life may go on forever.'*
    I decided to check out the source of the quote from Alexis Carrel. He was a doctor born in 1873. He didn't even know about DNA! This is so typical of folks trying to push wacky ideas. They quote "authorities" from long ago even when their claims have been shown to be fallacious. Here's what the wiki says about his claims:

    Carrel was also interested in the phenomenon of senescence, or aging. He claimed incorrectly that all cells continued to grow indefinitely, and this became a dominant view in the early 20th century.[13] Carrel started an experiment on January 17, 1912 where he placed tissue cultured from an embryonic chicken heart in a stoppered Pyrex flask of his own design.[14] He maintained the living culture for over 20 years with regular supplies of nutrient. This was longer than a chicken's normal lifespan. The experiment, which was conducted at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, attracted considerable popular and scientific attention.

    Carrel's experiment was never successfully replicated, and in the 1960s Leonard Hayflick and Paul Moorhead proposed that differentiated cells can only undergo a limited number of divisions before dying. This is known as the Hayflick limit, and is now a pillar of biology.[13]

    It is not certain how Carrel obtained his anomalous results. Leonard Hayflick suggests that the daily feeding of nutrient was continually introducing new living cells to the alleged immortal culture.[15] J. A. Witkowski has argued that,[16] while "immortal" strains of visibly mutated cells have been obtained by other experimenters, a more likely explanation is deliberate introduction of new cells into the culture, possibly without Carrel's knowledge.[17]
    Given that Hayflick was cited in both the quote you gave and the wiki article, I thought I should look him up too. Imagine my surprise when I found he was a vocal opponent of "life extension" - they very thing promoted by the people who quoted him!

    Hayflick and his associates have vehemently condemned "anti-aging medicine" and criticized organizations such as the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.[3] Hayflick has written numerous articles criticizing both the feasibility and desirability of human life extension,[4][5] which have provoked responses critical of his views.[6]
    Talk about irony!

    This is a pretty good reminder that you can't believe everything you read on the internet, eh?
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  6. #6
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    Hello Richard and John

    I recall reading something a while ago that suggested there is an ageing factor built into the bonding at the start and finish of the DNA molecule that is thought to govern the number of times the DNA molecule can replicate when cell division takes place. As cells die, new cells must be produced by cell division to produce the new cells needed. If replications of some cells can only occurr say 5 or 6 times I was interested to find out the average age of cells in the human body. The following is what I found as a guide.


    How old is my body if the cells keep renewing themselves?
    An Odd Body inventory

    By Dr Stephen Juan • Get more from this author

    Posted in Biology, 17th February 2007 09:02 GMT

    About a century ago, scientists discovered that most of our brain cells formed during fetal development persist throughout life. But this discovery stimulated other scientists to discover the age of cells throughout the human body. If we look at the adult human body at age 40 from head to toe, the list goes something like this:

    •Brain cells of the cerebral cortex (the grey matter) are with you from birth.
    •Brain cells of the visual cortex (the array of cells in the front of the brain used for vision) are with you from birth.
    •Brain cells of the cerebellum (the structures at the base of the brain) are slightly younger than you are.
    •Intercostal muscle cells are about 15.1 years old.
    •Gut lining cells are about 5 days old.
    •Gut cells other than the lining are about 15.9 years old.
    •Skin cells are about 14 days old.
    •Red blood cells are about 120 days old.
    •Bone cells are about 10 years old.
    We do not know precisely the average ages of eye-lens cells, heart cells, liver cells, pancreas cells, fat cells, and bone marrow cells.
    Whatever the true cause of why cells die and fail to replicate or replicate properly, the Bible reveals that God set the average of man. No man has lived more than 1000 years. Later, God reduced the average age. Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. Later on the average age is 70 (three score and ten) as recorded in Psalm 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

    70 years is a generally accepted average age, but only today I saw some news figures comparing ages going back fifty years and cpmparing to now. 50 years ago the average age of men was less than 70 and the average age today is around 78 and generally women live slightly longer than men although their age spans have varied over the years in line with the average of men. There are various life-factors as to why the average age varies according to the period in history a person lived. Whatever the factor that controls age, God knows what it is and can change it.

    It does not really matter too much what the average is for God will change things again in the time to come. Exactly what an incorruptible body will consist of is speculation, but if a person is going to live for ever, then that will lead us to speculate all sorts of things that might happen to the body in the kingdom. Instead of speculating what might happen, I am prepared to wait and see, for this is not something that we need to know or worry about in our lifetime.

    All the best,

    David

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Hello Richard and John

    I recall reading something a while ago that suggested there is an ageing factor built into the bonding at the start and finish of the DNA molecule that is thought to govern the number of times the DNA molecule can replicate when cell division takes place. As cells die, new cells must be produced by cell division to produce the new cells needed. If replications of some cells can only occurr say 5 or 6 times I was interested to find out the average age of cells in the human body. The following is what I found as a guide.




    Whatever the true cause of why cells die and fail to replicate or replicate properly, the Bible reveals that God set the average of man. No man has lived more than 1000 years. Later, God reduced the average age. Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. Later on the average age is 70 (three score and ten) as recorded in Psalm 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

    70 years is a generally accepted average age, but only today I saw some news figures comparing ages going back fifty years and cpmparing to now. 50 years ago the average age of men was less than 70 and the average age today is around 78 and generally women live slightly longer than men although their age spans have varied over the years in line with the average of men. There are various life-factors as to why the average age varies according to the period in history a person lived. Whatever the factor that controls age, God knows what it is and can change it.

    It does not really matter too much what the average is for God will change things again in the time to come. Exactly what an incorruptible body will consist of is speculation, but if a person is going to live for ever, then that will lead us to speculate all sorts of things that might happen to the body in the kingdom. Instead of speculating what might happen, I am prepared to wait and see, for this is not something that we need to know or worry about in our lifetime.

    All the best,

    David
    Hi David,

    Thanks for the interesting response and I agree with everything you have said. But why would God want to reduce the maximum age that man can lived to about 120 years and set the average lifespan at around 70? It also bring up the question that if man can remove the mechanism of aging or remove the mechanism which God set at maximum of 120 years, will we be able to live forever?

    I believed that God reduce the maximum age from possible eternity (Adam's time before the fall) to less than 1,000 years (Patriarch time) and continues in a downward trend to a maximum 120 years was because of Man's evilness.

    Genesis 6: 1When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] humans forever, for they are mortal[b](i.e. corrupt); their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

    To allow Man in his evil state to live forever is tantamount to allowing evil to continue to grow forever. It's like allowing mosquitoes to live forever and spreading the diseases that they carry forever; reducing the lifespan of mosquitoes will reduce the possible harm and rate that these insects may spread their diseases. It's like cutting weeds or grass regularly so that they cannot overgrow in your garden. Only when Man become righteous, will God allow Man to live forever:

    John 3:16, "For God gave His only Son that whosever believe in Him will never perish but will inherit eternal life".

    Matthew 19:16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life ?”

    17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

    18 “Which ones?” he inquired.

    Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]”

    20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

    21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”


    May God allow us to live forever in His Kingdom.
    Last edited by CWH; 06-05-2012 at 07:40 PM.
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    Seek and You shall find,
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Hello Richard and John

    I recall reading something a while ago that suggested there is an ageing factor built into the bonding at the start and finish of the DNA molecule that is thought to govern the number of times the DNA molecule can replicate when cell division takes place. As cells die, new cells must be produced by cell division to produce the new cells needed. If replications of some cells can only occurr say 5 or 6 times I was interested to find out the average age of cells in the human body. The following is what I found as a guide.


    Whatever the true cause of why cells die and fail to replicate or replicate properly, the Bible reveals that God set the average of man. No man has lived more than 1000 years. Later, God reduced the average age. Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. Later on the average age is 70 (three score and ten) as recorded in Psalm 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

    70 years is a generally accepted average age, but only today I saw some news figures comparing ages going back fifty years and cpmparing to now. 50 years ago the average age of men was less than 70 and the average age today is around 78 and generally women live slightly longer than men although their age spans have varied over the years in line with the average of men. There are various life-factors as to why the average age varies according to the period in history a person lived. Whatever the factor that controls age, God knows what it is and can change it.

    It does not really matter too much what the average is for God will change things again in the time to come. Exactly what an incorruptible body will consist of is speculation, but if a person is going to live for ever, then that will lead us to speculate all sorts of things that might happen to the body in the kingdom. Instead of speculating what might happen, I am prepared to wait and see, for this is not something that we need to know or worry about in our lifetime.

    All the best,

    David
    Hi David,

    I'm glad you joined the conversation. That's very interesting info about the ages of different cells. One of the main areas of research is on telomeres which are found on the ends of chromosomes. They are thought to protect the chromosome. They become shorter with age so scientists think they might be the key to the aging process.

    BTW - what do you think would have happened to an ant if Adam stepped on it prior to his sin?

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Hi David,

    I'm glad you joined the conversation. That's very interesting info about the ages of different cells. One of the main areas of research is on telomeres which are found on the ends of chromosomes. They are thought to protect the chromosome. They become shorter with age so scientists think they might be the key to the aging process.

    BTW - what do you think would have happened to an ant if Adam stepped on it prior to his sin?

    Richard
    You seems to be saying that by stepping on the ant, the ant would die? Is there anything impossible with God? Try stepping on a grass and the grass would grow again. Try cutting the tail of a lizard or the legs of a crab and they will grow again. What I am saying here is that God can resurrect the ant if He wanted to even if it is crushed to death. Is there anything impossible with God? So can God resurrect any human being even if he is crushed to death....or are you saying that if a man is crushed to death and his spirit will go to heaven to live forever in the crushed state?


    God Blessings to all.
    Last edited by CWH; 06-05-2012 at 07:36 PM.
    Ask and You shall receive,
    Seek and You shall find,
    Knock and the door will be open unto You.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    You seems to be saying that by stepping on the ant, the ant would die? Is there anything impossible with God? Try stepping on a grass and the grass would grow again. Try cutting the tail of a lizard or the legs of a crab and they will grow again. What I am saying here is that God can resurrect the ant if He wanted to even if it is crushed to death. Is there anything impossible with God? So can God resurrect any human being even if he is crushed to death....or are you saying that if a man is crushed to death and his spirit will go to heaven to live forever in the crushed state?


    God Blessings to all.
    Hi Cheow,

    I think you missed the point about the ant. We are not asking of God could resurrect the ant. We are asking if the ant would die or not. The point is that many Christians believe there was no death before Adam sinned. Do you think there was death before Adam sinned?

    Another problem with the idea that there was no death before Adam sinned is that the world would have been three feet deep in insects if they never died.

    All the best,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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