Published in Milenio Diario, June 10, 2009
The game of linking concepts that at a first glance look unrelated can be a good way of keeping one's mind in shape. I was invitated to give a talk about "the death of Darwinism", and that's a good excuse to explore the relations between the life and work of Charles Darwin and the subject of death (since Darwinism is alive and evolving).
It turns out that the oldest organisms, composed of only one cell, are immortal. They feed, grow and, when the time is right, they divide in two, but they don't die. Only with the emergence of multi-cellular organisms and sexual reproduction do phenomena like ageing and death emerge; they are the price we have to pay for the capacity of forming more complex organisms.
Apart from helping us to understand death, if
The moral of the story is that Darwinism, as any other knowledge, can be used for good or bad. That's why it is convenient to have a good understanding of it.