Re: Death before the Fall

Mark Phillips (
Wed, 04 Aug 1999 00:07:41 +0930

> I agree with Glenn here. From a biochemical point of view, there is
> no difference between the death of a cell and the death of a whole
> organism.

This is I believe, a reductionist argument. It reduces the concept of
animal death, to simply being glorified cellular death. I believe
this to be inadequate.

> In fact, technically speaking, organism death is non-existent.

...which affirms my point. By reducing all concepts of life down to
the cellular level, you lose the concept of organism death, or
organism life for that matter. An organism is viewed, technically
speaking, as just a collection of cells cooperating and interacting
together. I think a few things are missing in this view, useful as it
is for some purposes.

> Organisms die because their cells die, not because they possess some
> force of life separate from that of their cells.

The __mechanism__ of organism death is massive cellular death, but
there is more to the concept of organism death than just this.

> One thing that Glenn did not mention, which applies to your idea
> that cells could live and die in balance so that the organism could
> live forever, is that the tissues that produce cells also have a
> pre-programmed lifespan. The tissue that produce them can replace
> dead cells only so many times before it stops replacing them. This
> program is separate from that which causes apoptosis, but it is also
> tied to development, in that at certain developmental stages certain
> tissues turn on while others turn off. This process does not cease
> with maturity, but simply enters an extended phase in which the
> tissues that keep us alive are the only ones left functional, and
> when they start to shut down, the organism dies.

It would seem quite possible that pre-fall the pre-programmed lifespan
of appropriate tissues was infinite, and that only post-fall was it
made finite.

> So in addition to Glenn's question, I would ask, why did God program tissues
> with limited lifespans if there was to be no death before the Fall?

See above.



"They told me I was gullible ... and I believed them!"