Aging and death in terms of biology and theology

  1. Lemma
  2. Старение и смерть с точки зрения биологии и богословия
  3. Russian
  4. Saprykin, Dmitry
  5. Scientific theories and disciplines > Biology - Co-existence
  6. 2013
  7. Нейфах Георгий, протоиерей [Author]. Aging and death in terms of biology and theology
  8. Гармония Божественного творения. Взаимоотношения науки и религии
  9. Hayflick limit
    1. The author of the article, referring to biologists’ research, proves that the death and aging of organisms are not biologically necessary, and gives an Orthodox theological explanation of death.

      "Germ track cells of any species organism continuously multiply, as long as this species exists, for them there is no Hayflick limit, and therefore, unlike somatic cells, germ track cells are immortal". What is the cause of mortality of somatic cells? For about half a century biological science has been struggling with this question, and it only comes to the following conclusions:

      a) There are no fundamental differences between somatic cells on the one hand and unicellular organisms or germ track cells on the other;

      b) There is no biological need for somatic cells to be mortal. Surprising and mysterious from scientific point of view should not be the long life of biblical patriarchs, but why people and other living organisms grow old and die, the author believes.

      In Christian theology, human mortality is a punishment for ancestors’ sin of in paradise, and together with the king of nature - man - his subjects and all living creature is punished. Science can only explore, the author asserts, what changes the Lord made to the "nature" so that after Adam expulsion from paradise all living things became mortal, and in which way the Lord increasingly shortened for sins the people’s life, so according to the psalmist David, the life of a man “in their span they be threescore years and ten. And if we be in strength, mayhap fourscore years…”