It is possible that for an immortal species to arise via biological evolution?

In biological evolution, living organisms continues to change. However, is there a point wherein evolution stops due to an organism not needing change anymore? This would be a state like that of perfection (completion of all necessary biological function in a species, making it sufficient to survive). For instance, in a highly advanced human being who had evolved into immortality. At this stage, the species is immune to degeneration and is in a continuous perfect state of good health. This does not mean freedom from death from external causes (e.g. injury).

  1. In this state, a perfect environment is a given. For instance, a man-made ecological niche, engineered to be in perfect or continuous normal climate, ecological condition etc. To sustain immortal species).

  2. At least, in this theory the closure of evolution could not prove to be long term unless perfect conditions remain to sustain immortal species as there still exists uncertainty (part of nature) due to genetic drift, wherein even beneficial genetic variation can become extinct.

Is there a possibility that such a perfect species in a perfect environment could evolve? Does nature allow such an evolution?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Is there a possibility that such a perfect species in a perfect environment could evolve? -- Your question, while interesting, can only be answered subjectively. Please consult What types of questions should I avoid asking?. Possibly informative: Why haven't prey evolved the ability to always outrun their predators? $\endgroup$ – acvill Jul 2 '20 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Dirigible, I guess i have to ask this at the Philosophy page of stackexchange. $\endgroup$ – Radz Matthew C. Brown Jul 3 '20 at 2:26
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think you need to rewrite your title as it doesn't read as English. Consummate as a verb (the sense in which you use it) is transitive — it must have an objective in the active voice, e.g. they consummated their marriage (to use a common and biological example). If English is not your native language, I would advise you try to express yourself in simpler terms. This advice is generally applicable in any case. It is a mistake to think that a different sort of language is required for academic writing, except when necessary for technical terms or abstract ideas. $\endgroup$ – David Jul 3 '20 at 14:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This depends on exactly what you mean by "immortal". Certainly there are clonal organisms that seem in principle to be immortal, but individuals still die from various causes. For instance, the aspen tree, one example of which is about 80,000 years old: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pando_(tree) $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Jul 3 '20 at 17:28

Immortality has many meanings and perceptions.

To give an example, a bacterial cell doesn't die but divides into two daughter cells by fission (or other means). So, the bacteria may be called immortal since the same cell which existed million years ago has given birth to the bacterial cells we see today.

But, are the bacterial cells now EXACTLY the same as their ancestor? No, and this can't be possible ever. So, in a sense nature does allow immortal beings like bacteria so-to-speak but if you look closely, it's actually not immortal but evolving continuously.

Also, a perfect system where evrything is constant can't exist because of the second law of thermodynamics (very important for biological systems) which states that entropy of the universe increases and entropy increase in favoured. So, with time, entropy must increase in the system which means it won't be the same forever.

Can a human evolve into such being that doesn't need to evolve and stays immortal? Yes and no. Basically what causes aging is error in DNA replication which can be fixed by some genetic engineering (already seen in some animals). So, yes humans can be immortal. But can they be such that they don't acquire genetic changes. No, because environmental factors like UV, chemicals, etc. cause alterations in DNA.

Unless you live in an absolutely controlled environment, this is not possible. But even in a controlled environment, unless all humans are clones, mating will cause new genetic combinations in the offsprings.So, again it is not possible to not acquire any new genetic changes.



Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.