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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Is human suicide a legitimate analog for cell apoptosis?

Throughout human evolution, individuals have subsisted in a variety of ways. These ranged from hunting and gathering, to forming nomadic tribes, to settling as a result of the agricultural revolution, and eventually to creating civilization once surplus resources were reliably established. It is undeniable that this progression resembles the evolution of a macro organism (such as a bee or ant colony) from single cells, through tissues, organs, and penultimately social organisms. In today’s world, most individuals (depending on location) are unlikely to possess the skills of hunting, gathering, or self-subsistence. We truly rely on one another in order to survive.

Using the evolutionary argument, the claim that this communal organization is a result of our genome is justified. So, it could be argued that human civilization is our genome’s most effective and successful method for ensuring its self-proliferation and survival.

Those who feel dissociated from society or are pathologically depressed for other reasons are more likely to commit suicide than others. Suicide is a valuable paradigm because it is so extreme; there is truly no evolutionary advantage for the individual’s genome. Obviously, suicide prevents this negative genomic impact from proliferating (e.g. genetically transmitted clinical depression from being passed to offspring). It also removes genes that may be deleterious to society (the human macro organism). Are suicides examples of detrimental genomic information culling itself from the gene pool? If individual humans are analogs for cells in the organism of humanity, is suicide programmed cell death? Does war follow the same logic?

28 comments:

  1. You've got some interesting post here! Nice!

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  2. Wow,i don't know man. It's almost scary when you think about it

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  3. deep, never looked at suicide that way.

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  4. very interesting article here. debatable thats for sure.

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  5. this is very interesting to talk about

    like eugenics, it may be unpopular to discuss this for some irrational people

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  6. Not sure. I'll have to think on it.

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  7. This is pretty trippy...I'm only just learning about cell apoptosis in BIO203.

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  8. Humans are very complex beings, have you seen self-termination in any other living beings?
    Nice blog you have here bro,
    supporting and following~

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  9. Interesting arguement, I would have to say that this seems possible.

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  10. btw i had a period of my life where i was very close to it, but i was lucky cause a cusine of mine called me on the phone and the way she loves life and enjoy every little think made me realize the stupidness of my thought . so i am so pro life.

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  11. Worst thing to tell a depressed person:"You're probably just depressed because several generations ago, one of your ancestors realized that the family genes were never going to cut it. This realization programmed a self-destruct drive into this person's offspring to save the universe the trouble of weeding them out."

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  12. What about the situation of a male passing DNA, and then killing himself after the child is born? We can even have the female eat his body afterwards and show those insects a thing or two.

    In all seriousness the majority of reasons for suicide are the state of the person, not that I am ruling out there is not some possibility of such, but more than naught.

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  13. HOLY SHIT THIS BLOG IS SO COOL ARE YOU ME EXCEPT BETTER

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  14. very interesting stuff, I look forward to some more

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  15. That is an interesting Idea. Really makes you think man..

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  16. Hmm...interesting. I would say that no, War would not follow the same logic as the majority of the people who go to war die, and aren't able to pass on their offspring, however the victors are. So, well...I guess it's a possibility, however people go to war over many things. Food, territory, money, religion, protection etc.

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  17. I've tried to write up a few comments based on your post, but I think I'd like to hear more on the subject from you. Specifically, how do you overcome the fact the contradiction between the lack of evolutionary imperative in favor and suicide and the theory that it serves as to keep "negative genomic impact from proliferating". Aside from that, I wonder if society factors into an individuals decision to commit suicide at all. Perhaps they may think their close companions will be better off without them, but I find it hard to believe that anyone commits suicide because they want to keep defective genes from proliferating.

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  18. it could be a defect that is still around because they commit suicide AFTER having children so the genes are passed

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  19. hmmm.. dont know realy :) but suicide is mostly due to some bad events, dont know if it is in the cells or somthing..

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  20. I would guess that being able to work together in a society and interact with others is extremely useful in terms of self preservation. Hence, society was bound to develop by evolution. So yeah, I definitely agree with you there.

    Interesting bit about suicide. What if the person to suicide was a valued and depended upon member of society?

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  21. Interesting theory.

    Suicide is never the answer, though. :|

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