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Interesting stuff. Now that the human genone has been mapped and we've found the use of about 50 percent of your expressed genes some scientists believe living hundred of years and even being immortal are within reach within our lifetime. We know what causes aging now and that we do not per say have an iternal clock that says "die". We simply grow old from wear and tear. Things that we may able to be repair with human cloning of body parts and stem cells. I'm not sure about the hippie scientist below but there are some big name guys and gals that think we can do it. So do you think this would be a good thing? Or that it is even possible? How long would you want to live if you had a say in the matter?

 

 

 

'We will be able to live to 1,000'

By Dr Aubrey de Grey

University of Cambridge

 

 

 

Aubrey de Grey: "The first person to live to 1,000 might be 60 already"

Life expectancy is increasing in the developed world. But Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey believes it will soon extend dramatically to 1,000. Here, he explains why.

 

Ageing is a physical phenomenon happening to our bodies, so at some point in the future, as medicine becomes more and more powerful, we will inevitably be able to address ageing just as effectively as we address many diseases today.

 

I claim that we are close to that point because of the SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) project to prevent and cure ageing.

 

It is not just an idea: it's a very detailed plan to repair all the types of molecular and cellular damage that happen to us over time.

 

And each method to do this is either already working in a preliminary form (in clinical trials) or is based on technologies that already exist and just need to be combined.

 

THE ALTERNATIVE VIEW

 

Nothing in gerontology even comes close to fulfilling the promise of dramatically extended lifespan

 

S Jay Olshansky

 

 

Read full article

This means that all parts of the project should be fully working in mice within just 10 years and we might take only another 10 years to get them all working in humans.

 

When we get these therapies, we will no longer all get frail and decrepit and dependent as we get older, and eventually succumb to the innumerable ghastly progressive diseases of old age.

 

We will still die, of course - from crossing the road carelessly, being bitten by snakes, catching a new flu variant etcetera - but not in the drawn-out way in which most of us die at present.

 

I think the first person to live to 1,000 might be 60 already

 

 

So, will this happen in time for some people alive today? Probably. Since these therapies repair accumulated damage, they are applicable to people in middle age or older who have a fair amount of that damage.

 

I think the first person to live to 1,000 might be 60 already.

 

It is very complicated, because ageing is. There are seven major types of molecular and cellular damage that eventually become bad for us - including cells being lost without replacement and mutations in our chromosomes.

 

Each of these things is potentially fixable by technology that either already exists or is in active development.

 

'Youthful not frail'

 

The length of life will be much more variable than now, when most people die at a narrow range of ages (65 to 90 or so), because people won't be getting frailer as time passes.

 

There is no difference between saving lives and extending lives, because in both cases we are giving people the chance of more life

 

The average age will be in the region of a few thousand years. These numbers are guesses, of course, but they're guided by the rate at which the young die these days.

 

If you are a reasonably risk-aware teenager today in an affluent, non-violent neighbourhood, you have a risk of dying in the next year of well under one in 1,000, which means that if you stayed that way forever you would have a 50/50 chance of living to over 1,000.

 

And remember, none of that time would be lived in frailty and debility and dependence - you would be youthful, both physically and mentally, right up to the day you mis-time the speed of that oncoming lorry.

 

Should we cure ageing?

 

Curing ageing will change society in innumerable ways. Some people are so scared of this that they think we should accept ageing as it is.

 

I think that is diabolical - it says we should deny people the right to life.

 

The right to choose to live or to die is the most fundamental right there is; conversely, the duty to give others that opportunity to the best of our ability is the most fundamental duty there is.

 

There is no difference between saving lives and extending lives, because in both cases we are giving people the chance of more life. To say that we shouldn't cure ageing is ageism, saying that old people are unworthy of medical care.

 

Playing God?

 

People also say we will get terribly bored but I say we will have the resources to improve everyone's ability to get the most out of life.

 

People with a good education and the time to use it never get bored today and can't imagine ever running out of new things they'd like to do.

 

And finally some people are worried that it would mean playing God and going against nature. But it's unnatural for us to accept the world as we find it.

 

Ever since we invented fire and the wheel, we've been demonstrating both our ability and our inherent desire to fix things that we don't like about ourselves and our environment.

 

We would be going against that most fundamental aspect of what it is to be human if we decided that something so horrible as everyone getting frail and decrepit and dependent was something we should live with forever.

 

If changing our world is playing God, it is just one more way in which God made us in His image.

 

Aubrey de Grey leads the SENS project at Cambridge University and also runs the Methuselah Mouse prize for extending age in mice.

 

 

Click here to read US academic S Jay Olshansky's alternative

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"...being immortal are within reach within our lifetime."

 

Hmmm.... I think I just snapped a rubber band in my head trying to think about that one. If we become immortal, what then, is a lifetime?

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I would not want it. I don't even know what I'm going to do this weekend. What the hell would I do with 1000 years? 70 or so will be enough for me.

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Great on a personal level! I never run out of things to keep my busy mind occupied - and I've always been curious about how the world will change in a hundred years time, let alone a thousand.

 

On worldwide scale of curing aging however I worry. Didn't death develop because of evolutionary reasons like everything else? Wouldn't the world become even more over-populated? Wouldn't people have to have sex/make babies less often? Abstaining from sex wouldn't be fun, would it? Although contraceptives solve that problem. But people would still have to have children a lot less often - and I can't see that happening.

 

When we are in danger of using up the earth's resources as it is - and need to turn to the moon for a miracle solution - isn't there some sense in people dying naturally rather than filling up the world with more people who need food and heating and electricity?

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I'd like to live long, so I can have time to learn new things and learn more about life and nature.

 

But I'm afraid that the future might not be so bright, so it might be better to get away from it all.

 

The problem with society with people living long is that we have to stop reproducing. We can't have children if no one dies off.

 

Isaac Asimov actually bring this issue up in the Empire and Foundation series, and the planets that had long life span did not survive as a society. And it was well thought out in the books why this happened. The planets that thrived and progressed where the ones that had shorter life spans.

 

---

 

Oh, I see EB had the issue of over population... and you're right, no more children, but it doesn't mean no more sex though. What is needed is birth control. The religious group will not approve of controlled reproduction, so we could have serious problems. Religious people living 1000 years and having hundreds of brain washed kids.

 

The only way to keep on having kids and live long is that we have to start new settlements on other planets.

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I'll take 1000 years in a heartbeat. Is this guy credible?

 

Just think Groundhog Day. There are so many things you could do with your life given the time. You just need to increase your imagination. I'd get several PhDs, spend a lifetime as a research biologist in the Amazon, spend another few years comparing regional wines around the world. Spend a lifetime as a slut. Etc..., etc... Give me 10 more minutes to contemplate this and I can put together a real list. And I'd have the money to do so thanks to compound interest.

 

Just try calculating the interest on a few $1000 for 300-400 years. It will blow your mind.

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The only way to keep on having kids and live long is that we have to start new settlements on other planets.

 

I'd be willing to bet only the elite will have access to the technology needed. So this won't be an issue.

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The only way to keep on having kids and live long is that we have to start new settlements on other planets.

 

I'd be willing to bet only the elite will have access to the technology needed. So this won't be an issue.

 

I don't think a world like this would be even close to possible without some sort of birth control. As mentioned, it would be reserved for the wealthy anyway. Birth control, preventative or otherwise, shouldn't be difficult if this level of physical manipulation going on.

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I don't think curing death completely would be a good thing. Death is part of the natural change that is in the world. Like it or not, it helps keep the natural order of things. I can see things getting completely out of hand if death were "cured." Overpopulation, mass starvation (which would be even worse if you couldn't die from it, I would think), poverty, polluton, even more raping of the planet's resources, etc.

 

Now, I don't think that extending the lifespan would be such a bad thing, but you'd still have to get rid of the notion that couples all need to have babies in order to be Real True Families . And if certain people took longer to die, progress would come very slowly in society. Many people wouldn't feel the need to innovate anymore. We'd probably be stuck in a rut as far as mentality goes. The fundies would be around even longer too.

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Wow, I see it polar opposite that you do Am.

 

On the mentality thing, I think it would blow past intellectualism to smithereens. Imagine the time to get a "real" education and then the time to sit back and observe things from the perspective of, well, time.

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On the one hand, living longer would mean everybody could learn much more in each lifetime; on the other hand, does this immortality come with prolonged youth too? Would there have to be a limit on reproduction? Already we're over the Earth's holding capacity and hanging on by sheer tenacity. And immortality would be wasted on people who went around trying to bully people out of being happy and into their religion; or just being lazy, like year 12 in my school.

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I'll take 1000 years in a heartbeat. Is this guy credible?

 

Just think Groundhog Day. There are so many things you could do with your life given the time. You just need to increase your imagination. I'd get several PhDs, spend a lifetime as a research biologist in the Amazon, spend another few years comparing regional wines around the world. Spend a lifetime as a slut. Etc..., etc... Give me 10 more minutes to contemplate this and I can put together a real list. And I'd have the money to do so thanks to compound interest.

 

Just try calculating the interest on a few $1000 for 300-400 years. It will blow your mind.

 

I'm with you.

 

I wouldn't necessarily want to live forever, but the quantity and quality of experiences I could have in a thousand years or more is the stuff of my greatest dreams.

 

Just living long enough to see the first manned space voyage (as opposed to the quick, up-and-back missions we've done thus far) would be absolutely incredible to me.

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Can you think of all the pets you would survive if you lived THAT long? That's kinda sad.....

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If we achieved immortality and did not colonize other worlds, extinction would be almost guaranteed due to a lack of resources.

Either through war or running out of critical resources, extinction would be the result.

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On the one hand, living longer would mean everybody could learn much more in each lifetime; on the other hand, does this immortality come with prolonged youth too? Would there have to be a limit on reproduction? Already we're over the Earth's holding capacity and hanging on by sheer tenacity. And immortality would be wasted on people who went around trying to bully people out of being happy and into their religion; or just being lazy, like year 12 in my school.

 

Learn more, yeah, but what do you do with it? Do you think most people would really be happy in desk jobs at an office for 1000 years after they got all that eduction? Most people are glad to retire when they finally get the chance. People would be too bored with traditional jobs. The whole economy would end up changing.

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If we achieved immortality and did not colonize other worlds, extinction would be almost guaranteed due to a lack of resources.

Either through war or running out of critical resources, extinction would be the result.

 

Gotta agree there. Space exploration is the key.

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Eventually, death by old age or disease will become a thing of the past. But I see no way to prevent accidental death or murder-except through cloning?

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I think it's a bad assumption to assume that there will be billions of people living 1000 years. As I said before, it is likely that this "gift" will belong only to the elite. No doubt new policies will have to be developed to address new issues that crop up, but we are perfectly capable to adapting to the new challenges that would arrise.

 

And there is no way you are going to get a group of fundy idiots making people's lives miserable for 1000 years. With age and experience grows wisdom. It's a rare person who makes it into their old age without at least learning from a few of their mistakes. Those who won't, probably will find they won't survive long despite the technology.

 

Learn more, yeah, but what do you do with it? Do you think most people would really be happy in desk jobs at an office for 1000 years after they got all that eduction? Most people are glad to retire when they finally get the chance. People would be too bored with traditional jobs. The whole economy would end up changing.

 

As I mentioned before, the "magic" of compound interest will make work unnecessary for those few who would expand their life spans so dramatically. A few grand can turn into billions in a couple hundered years and would radically outpace inflation.

 

If people can't find enough imagination to enjoy their 70-90 odd years they get now, then they probably won't opt to live longer. But there are people who have enough imagination and passion that they could live thousands of years and not get bored. The limits are only up to the individual.

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I'm thinking people are ready to die when they're old because, well, they're old. If you could live 500 years at your prime, especially knowing you were still mortal, would you hate it?

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I think it's hard to wrap our minds around the idea because since birth, we are programmed to believe and think we only have (X) amount of years until we die of old age. Well, actually at this point it is a reality...unless we die of unnatural causes along the way.

 

There's always the fountain of youth! :lmao:

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I sincerely doubt it will happen, but I would definitly but this treatment if it does. A couple hundred years of being ~30 physically would be so sweet, I'd speak 10 languages, have lived in at least as many countries, would have 5+ PhDs in everything from physics to literature and just have fun with it. And when I got bored with it, I can always stop whenever I want to.

 

Of course, I think it'd only be possible if the people were genetically engineered from the start, which I would also pay for for my kids if it ever becomes available. Well, we'll see. I'll be pleasantly surprised if it happens.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This idea has been 'seriously' thrown around for a few years- and I've been making preparations for longer than that. I think we're headed for a technological boom that'll make last century look like the stone age... and immortality will be only one of multiple ways that out society will be altered.

 

I'm also banking on continuously compounding interest. My 401K is well-stocked for a 3-decade-old diesel mechanic... and will be rolled over into a Roth IRA in the next few years when I return to school full-time (and therefore have very little taxable income). I'll also agree that like most new technology- this will only be available to the wealthy elite (or AT LEAST upper middle-class) for some time. That's one of the reasons I mean to finish my enigneering degree. My stategery is to make preparations that will work well whether my life expectency is <100... or >200.

 

I'll agree that if people were genetically engineered from the git-go, then they'd have a much better chance of immortality... but there are ways around that. Scientists have already come up with ways to modify the DNA of an existing critter- using a virus that essentially spreads the modification to existing cells. So in theory, we could all be genetically re-engineered some day.

 

I'm really not sold on the whole overpopulation thing. I spent several years in western Kansas where the population is less than a couple of people per square mile- and the vast majority of the western U.S. is similarly populated. Sure, there'll be problems- but we've got a REALLY easy life right now... and I think we've got a LONG way to go before this becomes a real concern. By then... we'll be colonizing Mars- and so on. When I finish my engineering degree, I hope to facilitate in the spread of the Human virus throughout the solar system.

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