Youu your body well kind of right but is there a line where this stop being true how much of yourself can youu remove before you stop being new and does the question even makes sense your physical existence is cells trillions of them at least 10 times more than there are stars in the milky way a cell is a living being a machine made of up to 50000 different proteins.
It has nonconsciousness will no purpose it just is but it is still an individual together your cells form huge structures for jobs like preparing food gathering resources transporting stuff around scanning the environment and so on if you extract cells from your body and put them in the right environment, they will continue to stay alive for a while so your cells can exist without youu but you can’t exist without them if we take all the cells away there is no you anymore is there a line,
where a pile of your cells stops being new for example if youu donate an organ billions of your cells will continue to live on inside someone else does this mean that a part of youu became part of another person or is this other body keeping a part focalize or let us imagine an experiment you and a random person from the street exchange cells one at a time your body gets one of their cells their body gets one of your cells at which point would they become you would they ever or is this just Avery slow and a gross way to teleport you let’s make this more complicated,
The image of ourselves as a static thingy untenable almost all of your cells have to die during your lifetime250 million have died since the beginning of this alone between one and three million per second in a seven-year period most of your cells are replaced at least once every time your cell set up changes youu are slightly different than before so a part of you is dying constantly if you are lucky enough to become old you would have cycled through roughly multibillion cells so what you consider yourself is really just a snapshot but sometimes cells are broken and don’t want to die questioning the very nature of the unity of our bodies we call them cancer.
They cancel the biological social contract and become basically immortal cancer is not an outside invader it’s a part of youu that puts its own survival over yours but you could also argue that a cancer cell becomes another entity inside us another being that just wants to thrive and survive can we blame it for that a chilling clitoris that of Henrietta lacks a young cancer patient who died in 1951usually cells only survived for a few days in the lab making research very hard Henrietta’s cancer cells were immortal over the decades.
They have multiplied over and over again and used for countless research projects saving countless lives Henrietta’s cells are still alive and overall have been grown to at least20 tons of biomass so there are living parts around the world from someone who has been considered dead for decades how much of Henrietta is in these cells what makes one of your cells you anyway maybe the information contained in it your DNA until recently it was believed that all the cells in your body had basically the same genetic code
But it turns out this is wrong your genome is mobile changing over time through mutations and environmental influences this is especially the case in your brain according to recent discoveries single neuron in an adult brain has more than one thousand mutations in its genetic code that are not present in the cells surrounding it but how much youu is your DNA really about eight percent of the human genome is made up of viruses that once infected our ancestors and merged with us mitochondria power plants of the cell once were bacteria,
That merged with the ancestors of your cells they still have their own DNA an average cell has hundreds of them hundreds of little things that are not really human but they still kind of are it is confusing to let’s backtrack a bit we know that you’re made up of trillions of little things made from more little things that are constantly changing together all those little things are not static but dynamic their composition and condition is changing constantly so we might just be a self-sustaining pattern without clear borders that gained self-awareness at some point and now has the ability to think about itself through time and space but ready only exists in this exact very moment where did this pattern start with your conception when the first human arose,
when life first began conquering our small planet or when the elements that make up your body were forged in a star our human brains evolved to deal with absolutes the fuzzy borders that make up reality are hard to grasp maybe ideas like beginning and end life and death youu and I am really not absolutes but ideas belonging to a fluent pattern that is lost in this strange and beautiful universe the problem of who we are isn’t just a question of ourselves but it’s also a question of our minds just as our cells can be divided and separated from us so can our very brains.