The story of a jellyfish that doesn’t die a natural death!
After all, why can’t all living beings overcome death because of evolution?
(Explanation of Misconceptions About Evolution: Episode No. …)
Every soul of the past is mortal
Life is the name of living after death
The question is often asked that if evolution is really a natural mechanism in which so many effects or benefits are described in living beings, then why do living beings still not overcome death due to evolution! And then the example of a jellyfish is given that there is a living being who does not die a natural death! So what is stopping the rest of the creatures from becoming immortal like him?
Let’s take a look at the life of the aforementioned jellyfish (which is an animal) that goes through different stages during its life (see the different stages of life of this creature in the picture below). Like some species of jellyfish, of which Territopsis dohrnii (phylum Cnidaria) is most famous, it is called immortal. The initial physical condition, called the polyp and the appearance of the plant (see picture below), changes back. And then from this polyp many new born jellyfish, which are genetically identical to the original jellyfish, ie cloned, are born through asexual reproduction. It is said that this jellyfish is immortal! Now consider this scenario for yourself and tell me if the idea of immortality in your mind fits this jellyfish? I’m sure your answer is no! This is not just one jellyfish, but two other species in which this process has been observed. In scientific literature, it is written as rejuvenation, not immortality, and is linked to cellular plasticity, according to which a cell has the ability to transform from one type to another. And this process plays a key role in the cloning of this jellyfish. Keep in mind that this jellyfish usually breeds through sexual reproduction and the above phenomenon occurs only in the specific situations mentioned above. ۔
In this case, the real interest for scientists is the process by which a jellyfish returns to its original physical state under certain conditions to form a polyp. This is called transdifferentiation, during which the cells of a jellyfish that are engaged in their specific tasks return to their original state in the following specific situations. And then due to gene regulation (including factors such as DNA methylation and histone modification, etc., which are related to epigenetics), they begin to perform different functions than before. This transferential process is caused by certain transcriptional factors and their stimulation by certain other proteins, which are of great interest to scientists because they could open the door to treatment for certain human disorders. Experimentally, this process has been repeated in human cells, and cells of one lineage, such as astrocytes, have been converted into cells of another lineage, such as neurons. In fact, it has been shown that in the pancreas of humans and mice, some alpha cells convert insulin-producing beta cells into beta cells.
Let us now turn to the question of why evolution is incapable of producing immortal beings.
As you can see in the example of the jellyfish above, what is being called immortality is actually the survival of a jellyfish in an environment in the form of its own clones through asexual reproduction. Does this only happen in this particular jellyfish? no ! You will find many examples of this in single-celled unicellular organisms, including mitosis or similar cell-dividing methods in which binary fission allows bacteria to make their own genetically identical clones. Or the example in front of multicellular organisms is the plants whose branches you cut off, that is, if you plant the pen in the ground, you can easily get genetically similar plants (such as roses, etc.). However, in these unicellular organisms and in plants, the process of cloning takes place without this transdifferentiation process. Is the ability to create such a genetic clone in your mind called immortality?
Now what is the problem with this natural cloning or such immortality? The problem is that this method of reproduction is incapable of producing genetic diversity in any species of living thing. Therefore, sexual reproduction, although it requires more energy and poses some risk to an individual’s own life, is the only method of reproduction that guarantees genetic diversity in an organism’s offspring. And because of this, you can see the evolution and expansion of life all over the planet, and this method of reproduction is so important for the evolution of multicellular organisms and the survival of their offspring. The bottom line is that if all living things on this planet were as immortal as this jellyfish from the beginning of life to the present day, you would never see the abundance and diversity of living things that exist today!
Now you may say that this jellyfish may not be immortal, but the real question remains why evolution does not actually create immortal life. Keep in mind that death is not the name of life. And all living things are actually complex open systems, consisting of many nano machines. All the functions of life continue according to the principles of thermodynamics, according to which the increasing disorder or entropy entropy is an important principle of this universe. These laws also set the general temporal and spatial limits of all physical processes, including evolution. According to the poet
What is life? The appearance of the elements
Death is what worries them
Every cell in an organism has the ability to repair and regenerate, that is, the ability to maintain the specific order of its body, genetically determined and for a limited period of time. Although evolution does not guarantee the immortality of an organism’s individual life, it does greatly improve the survival of its offspring or its genetic gene pool as the environment changes over time. And that is a very important feature of life.