Do bacteria have a life after death?

According to most religions, after your death, you enter the afterlife phase of your “life.” And apparently you will share that other life with a fairly exclusive company, only with your peers *. There will be no other life forms present in Heaven, Hell or Hades, be they companion animals (pets), butterflies or vermin **. But if you stop and think about it, that’s silly. If you have an afterlife, all living things have an afterlife.

Well, boys and girls, pass this wisdom on to your local clergy.

Let’s be clear from the start, you are not an organism. You are a colony of organisms. You call these members or individual organizations of the colony, cells ***. The cells in your body are living things in their own right.

Now you will most likely believe in an afterlife when you die, an afterlife that is still within the physical realm of matter and energy. A non-physical afterlife would be hell indeed, as you could not see, hear, touch, taste or smell, and all the memories of your life, your personality, your creativity, all encoded in your neurochemistry, your neurons, your cells. cerebral, I would go poof. Therefore: that physical you, which is now in another physical life, is still a colony of living beings or unicellular organizations. If you head to the afterlife, so do all the individual living cells that made you, including sperm, eggs, blood cells, and all those essential neurons.

The logical result of this is that each and every single-celled microorganism, microbes, bacteria, etc. when he dies, he goes to “heaven”, or whatever realm (s) you think holds the afterlife. In the absence of something more suitable to label this location, we will equate life after death with ‘heaven’.

Therefore, every multicellular organism, in reality also a colony of unicellular organisms, passes to the afterlife after its disappearance. Jellyfish, sponges, clams and oysters, snails and slugs, ants, newts, frogs, mackerels and minnows, crows and robins, kittens and cubs, whales and dolphins, apes and monkeys, even plants have a ‘life’ after death . . So presumably when you mow, all those soon-to-be-dead grass cells will go to “heaven.” But at least when you get to “heaven”, you won’t need to cut any grass there; You couldn’t end up with anything that had eternal life, right? So how cows, goats, and horses feed in “heaven” would be a mystery.

Of course, maybe you don’t need to feed in the afterlife (both for beer and pizza nights). That would solve a lot of problems, like the need for lions in their afterlife to kill lambs in their afterlife, but why then drag out all of their digestive systems, including blood circulation, liver functions, kidney functions, etc. for the journey of the afterlife?

But then you cannot discriminate. Digestive cells are as deserving of an afterlife as neurons, neurons, nerve cells, and sensory (required) organs in the brain, such as the eyes and ears. So in his other life he carries with him a lot of now useless baggage, like his lungs. You no longer need to breathe to provide oxygen to your now immortal cells.

Also, any cell that is part of a multicellular organism that expires before the rest of the cell colony goes to “heaven” or whatever (or should it be anywhere?). Everything that is defined as living, when it dies (as all things must, even if it is a bacterium that reproduces asexually from generation to generation), has an afterlife. That is the logical result of believing that you have an afterlife. It doesn’t make sense for your brain cells to accompany you into eternal “life,” but a chimpanzee’s brain cells don’t because a chimpanzee doesn’t.

The proof of that pudding is that some animal cells, in the form of organs and tissues, can be transplanted into humans. I believe that some parts of the body of pigs are compatible for human transplantation, such as heart valves. Now when the human who received that animal transplant dies and goes to ‘heaven’, isn’t it logical that the donated animal body pieces go to the afterlife?

While offering another little treat, consider the fact that 90% of you are not you at all. There are all those trillions of bacteria, worms, mites, and other parasites that live in the mouth, nose, gut, and bloodstream; those in your hair and on your skin thrive as parasites or even symbiotic organisms. Most of these creatures will die with you and go to “heaven” with you.

Also, you would not want to go to your other life without having all your companion animals that had already passed away present to welcome you at the Pearl Gates, right? And, of course, the same goes for all those pets that you now have and whose disappearance will follow yours. You will also want to meet with them.

On the other hand, if pets ‘survive’ in the afterlife, and so do microbes, so will Black Plague bacteria, sharks, scorpions, man-eating tigers, nasty spiders, cockroaches, rats, cobras and all the other nasty ones. can evoke. Your own life after all might not be so heavenly after all!

Now I am still talking about “heaven” and not about “hell”. Why? Because it would be difficult to argue that any biological cell can be or is sinful or evil. Therefore, all cells go to “heaven” and therefore you must go to “heaven”, since none of the cells in your body deserve to go to “hell”.

On the other hand, perhaps there is no afterlife, a ‘heaven’ or a ‘hell’ to spend eternity, from humble bacteria to decidedly little humble humans.

How absurd all this! It is not the concepts that microbes have an afterlife, but the concept that there is even an afterlife.

* It is good to be with your friends and loved ones forever. That’s bad if it’s your ex, your mother-in-law, and your former supervisors who would just as soon fire you as if they were looking at you.

** That’s good, no annoying flies, mosquitoes, roaches, or rats. That’s bad: no pretty flowers, no good fishing (just catch and release, of course), and no songbirds.

*** Therefore, when you die (ie, declared medically dead), you do not really die in absolute totality in the interval from one beat / breath to the lack of what your next beat / breath would have been; It is not completely dead, as not all the cells that make it up die at exactly the same time that medical science says it has kicked the bucket. Of course, all those still undead cells will do the same shortly, but all of them, unless you were at ground zero in Hiroshima or Nagasaki (or equivalent), deactivating all of your cells is a lengthy process, not an instantaneous thing. .

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