Why humans die? Why should they die? This is a question of the ordinary man, the philosopher and also the scientist.
There are reasons for man death, for example, attack by other living things such as beasts, or poisonous animals, and also very small or even microscopic and ultra microscopic creatures such as viruses.
Man also might be perished by the forces of nature, such as drowning or thunder, or exposure to extreme coldness or heat or earthquakes and so on.
If man survives all these he gradually becomes old and feeble and his body will not regenerate anymore and becomes degenerated and succumbs to death. The big question is here. Science knows why one stops growing in adolescence. There is a piece of information in genes that stops all creature to eat and grow larger in terms of their height. You can modify it and make a bigger hedgehog – as big as a sheep.
But there is no similar gene to tell, in particular, to humans to stop regeneration and thus to become old. There are theories that explains degeneracy of living things. I am interested to begin my discourse from that point.
First agent of aging is believed to be the cosmic rays. These are particles accelerated with high energies inside the furnace of stars in such enormous amounts that they pass the width of our galaxy in few seconds (in their own time frame). These particles have ionising effect; that is, they destroy chemical bounds and prevent creation of more complex molecules from bounding of simpler molecules. In other words they can destroy life, as the life is creation of drastically complex molecules.
Our earth has a shield against accelerating particles, otherwise, the solar winds never would allow any life to be created on the earth. In spite of this shielding, the cosmic rays can penetrate even deep inside the mines on the earth. So they are one source of ionising and degenerating the living stuffs.
There is another important source of ionisation. All in the crust of our planet we have natural radioactive minerals scattered everywhere. They were second most important agent of aging until twenty century, perhaps even more effective than cosmic rays.
Pre-industrial societies had a role in destruction of earth by burning vast areas of natural forests and erosion of fertile lands which had an indirect effect on longevity of living things on the earth. Also confining men in cities and travel and trade helped proliferation of many disease among the humans.
Despite this and some limited but notable bad effects of industrialisation, up to the second world war we can deduce that these man made destructions always could be nullified with the healing forces imposed by nature as a counter-balance against the human mischiefs. Until second world war man could not overpower nature towards complete annihilation.
In the last month of the second world war, men exploded three nuclear bombs. This is different with all wars that human has done. A country in recent history could go and bomb another country. Devastation is limited to the point that bomb hits the target. That is all in terms of material and life.
When you bomb another country with nuclear explosives, you and your own citizen also get a portion of that devastation. US, first, tested that weapon on her own soil. Immediately all around the place became poisoned forever.
In an attempt to keep the deterrence of nuclear devices, some places in the US are more radioactive than the places in Japan they targeted with those atomic bombs. As if the US has bombed its own country many times with a nuke device.
The first five nations that developed this weapon ahead of other countries, for almost two decades tested them in open atmosphere or under the ocean water. They also built facilities to process the necessary radioactive material for the weapon or for the power stations running on a controlled nuclear reaction, with the same concept. In all of these operation large amounts of water is used for washing and cooling; also sooner or later everything becomes exposed to the fresh air from the atmosphere and pollutes the atmosphere.
As much I tried, I could not find certain estimates for the amount of pollution caused during the last sixty – seventy years after emergence of this weapon and invention of nuclear reactors.
They say everything is under control. This means prevention of falling these materials in the hands of undesirable people or in the hands of their enemies. Otherwise, nothing is under control. Pollution of the earth relentlessly is continuing.
If you shut down a coal power station, after three years vegetation grows everywhere and rust and mould and other elements return the place back to the nature that we had twelve thousand years ago. Shutting it down reverses our actions in matter of years. In contrast, nature needs hundreds thousand years to clean the radioactive pollution and man cannot reverse it.
This is the first irreversible destruction we have done to ourselves and to our nature.