Assumptions

Death

I’ve read a lot of varying theories about death. And to be honest, no one can definitively know whether or not one theory is better than any other. They’re all educated guesses, at best. Furthermore, no one can really prove whether or not life even exists after we die. The only thing I’ve read that has any bearing on what I’m talking about is Socrates’ ‘proof’ on the immortality of the soul.

But sidestepping any discussions on what happens after one dies, I can say definitively that death exists. Any and all creatures that exist or existed in the past have all died or will die. Without exception. So that brings up a question that’s been on my mind: why does death exist at all? Why do we die? Why does anything die?

I should make a side note at this point: any one who walks up to me and tells me that “we die in order to make us appreciate life more” will be promptly smacked in the mouth.

However, I did come to a conclusion after thinking about assumption (4) that evolution exists. Darwin often referred to ‘natural selection’ and ‘survival of the fittest’ in his descriptions of his theory. In other words, the more viable creatures throughout history pass their genes onto their children. The less viable creatures die out without passing on their genes. If death didn’t exist, this process wouldn’t go on at all. The less viable creatures would coexist with the more viable ones.

That may not seem like earth-shattering news to anyone, but think about it. The earliest forms of life were single-celled organisms. After 4 billion years, we’ve evolved into what we are today. Without death, we wouldn’t have evolved. To put it another way: we’d just be single-celled organisms. I’d rather live 40-50 years as the most intelligent creature on the planet than live forever as a single-celled organism. Why isn’t there a word for ‘single-celled organism’? I’m sick of writing ‘single-celled organism!’ Grr!