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5 Questions and Answers to Death – 20.04.2014



"Death is most likely the best invention of life, it is the motor of transformation, it eliminates the old and makes room for the new!" The farewell address of Apple founder Steve Jobs has touched many people. At the end of his life, his fortune, his visionary initiatives, his connections to him: At just 56, the pioneer of commercial computer science succumbed to a long-term cancer.

To this day, the death of our lives is a mystery.

Also in the human body – consisting of many billions of cells that divide day by day to guarantee growth – "Death creates space for new things." The organisms have a very efficient method of destroying potentially dangerous cellular structures, such as carcinogens or viruses: programmed cell death, in which old cells are replaced by others.

However, this separation slows down for some time. Responsible for this are probably the telomeres, which are located at the ends of the chromosomes. These "protective caps" are shortened along the compartments and eventually do not appear. First, the new cells are not born anymore, then the old ones die.

Telomerase can provide the continuation of the separation, but since this enzyme also accelerates cancer, it makes sense from a biological point of view that it is only active in some cells. A process disorder, for example in cell power plants, mitochondria, has far-reaching consequences for the body.

The biological limit of the functioning of the human body is around 1

20 years. Decisive, however, is the improved life expectancy over the centuries thanks to better living conditions and hygiene.

What is the definition of death?

The process of human aging generally leads to the failure of several organs: the cardiovascular system, lung and brain collapse, death occurs. From a medical point of view, there are different types of death.

In clinical death, the cardiovascular system fails, the pulse and breathing cease, the organs cease to receive oxygen. Resuscitation is still possible and often successful through artificial respiration and cardiac massage.

In brain death, this is no longer possible because brain, cerebellum and brainstem no longer work. Although certain cells may still be active in the deeper layers, the "consciousness" has been lost.

Nevertheless, "brain dead" can be kept artificially long alive; Pregnant women in this condition can even end the pregnancy. Some patients also respond to external stimuli, for example during surgery. From a medical point of view, however, these are only medullary reflexes, not a pain sensation. The definition of brain death in Germany remains controversial despite strict guidelines of the German Medical Association.

What happens after death in the body?

Initially, organs will survive for some time without oxygen nutrients. Cell division only gradually ceases, so the cells die; Organs can not regenerate anymore. Brain cells are the first and last only three to five minutes. The heart lasts up to half an hour. However, when the blood stops circulating, the organ descends and necrosis forms. After two hours, Rigor Mortis is established because no more adenosine triphosphate is produced and without this essential energy vector for the cells. The muscles become firmer. After a few days, this stiffening gives way. The gastrointestinal tract dies after two to three days, the bacteria accelerate the degradation.

The pathogens of the body are sometimes longer dangerous: hepatitis viruses survive several days; the bacilli of tuberculosis, even years. Overall, the degradation of the human body takes about 30 years.

What do near-death experiences show?

Science shows that near-death experiences occur in the period between clinical death and death resuscitation. The religions and the esoterism also deal with the experiences that can vary greatly depending on cultural or regional influences.

Some refer to an avalanche of memories, dissolution of the body, landscapes or a strong light (at the end of the tunnel)). While some feel a great sense of happiness, others are experiencing panic and anxiety. Still others report no unusual experience.

Obviously near-death is most experienced when resuscitation takes a long time and the brain is without oxygen for a long time. In particular, this deprivation affects the temporal and parietal lobes of the brain as well as the angular gyrus in between. However, it is unclear whether experiments are taking place in these areas.

The researchers also attempted to draw parallels between this extreme experience and comparable occurrences of living individuals. For example, some migraine sufferers also see lights, and certain epileptics have "out-of-body" experiences.

What does quantum physics have to do with the soul?

Theologians and esotericists, however, were not the only ones who dealt intensively with the mysterious near-death experiences, but also with physics scientists. The basis for a "physically describable soul" is the phenomenon of quantum entanglement. Albert Einstein had already encountered this strange effect, but dismissed it as a "ghostly long-distance effect".

They are composed of two interconnected subatomic particles that behave like a pair of twins, regardless of the distance that separates them. By determining the properties of one of them, the quantum state of the partner particle is immediately defined.

Numerous quantum physicists now argue that this effect exists: just as between subatomic particles there is a dualism between body and soul. However, when it is asked whether quantum physics can "prove" the existence of the human soul, the belief, whether scientific or religious, begins.


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