View Full Version : Immortality. Or, at best, increased life-expectancy.

7-9-11, 2:12pm
Ever though of living to be 150 years old? Or maybe 300 years old? Or maybe even living forever? I have, many times, and according to a select few scientists, that reality may come true.

Here's a great and fascinating writeup/article Re: immortality and the extension of human life.


At any rate, what are your thoughts?

7-9-11, 3:09pm
In order for increased life-expectancy to be a good idea, we'd have to figure out a way to stabilize our mental health. I think over time, stuff happens that impacts our attitudes and our outlook on life. What if we just keep getting more and more jaded? More and more out of touch with younger generations?

I think before we figure out a way to keep our chassis going longer, we have to attend to the spiritual "gas" first.

7-9-11, 4:07pm
We're not immortal and don't have eternal youth, contrary to the efforts of some people who get scared at thethought of aging and do everything they can to prevent it.

I think our physical bodies were designed to last a certain amount of time and just get plain worn out, even if there is no disease involved.

I think that when we start beginning to play God, we wander into dangerous territory. Even if you're not religious, I think there are things that shouldn't be tampered with, and you can end up with some unintended and dangerous side effects.

7-9-11, 5:09pm
but God's own book is filled with ancient stories of times when people lived to be hundreds of years old. :D

7-9-11, 5:52pm
And doctors play god every day now. Every 1lb baby that's saved is an example of people playing god.

As far as immortality, I'd only like it if I could be physically able to do stuff. I don't expect to be 20 forever, but my physical health now, at 54, isn't so bad. I'd take it. Just sitting in a wheelchair for 100 years doesn't appeal to me.

7-9-11, 5:55pm
I wouldn't like to live beyod my ability to enusre that I am able to get around, by myself, and have all my faculties!

7-9-11, 7:20pm
but God's own book is filled with ancient stories of times when people lived to be hundreds of years old. :D

That was BEFORE the flood!

7-9-11, 7:55pm
I'd never be able to retire, if retirement meant having to finance a life for 50-75 years!

7-10-11, 12:17am
I'm enjoying everyone's input already! One thing I'd like to add is, it's hard to imagine providing additional years life to people on a planet already ballooning with an overflowing population, with it's food woes and all, but I believe what lies ahead in the way of advances and breakthroughs will forever alter and change the way people on planet earth reside and exist.

7-10-11, 12:45am
One thing I'd like to add is, it's hard to imagine providing additional years life to people on a planet already ballooning with an overflowing population, with it's food woes and all, but I believe what lies ahead in the way of advances and breakthroughs will forever alter and change the way people on planet earth reside and exist.

I'd like to believe that, but I don't have that much faith in humanity. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst is my motto.

7-10-11, 1:53am
Ray Kurzweil has some good stuff on this, as does Aubrey de Grey. Also google transhumanism.

7-10-11, 12:33pm
I suppose there are a variety of things increased longevity might offer, but of all the things that seem to wear out in us humans, a longer life may not have the quality we would like. Having read a few of the books and articles around on geographic populations that have especially long life expectancies it would seem that diet, excersize, and sense of community would give a better quality of long life than supplemental drugs.

7-10-11, 12:53pm
I'm very skeptical of the idea that we will increase the maximum human lifespan, especially not in a way that any significant percentage of us will be able to afford.

Increased life expectancy over the past century has not come from the oldest people living to be older than possible before. Rather it has been from from first, children not dying in infancy, and in later years, people not dying from heart attacks, industrial accidents, and infectious diseases in early adulthood and middle age.

Will we see a lot more people living to be 90 or 100? We already are. Well we see people living to be 150? I don't think so.

Examples of long lives in the past: Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, both born before 1750, lived well past 80 years old. One of my grandparents lived to be 95 ad another to 80; neither had access to modern medical care.

7-10-11, 1:07pm
I like it here; I'd be happy to stick around past my pull date, assuming reasonably good mental and physical health.

I have quite a few long-lived ancestors. My favorite is a great-grandfather who died chopping wood at ninety, or so the story goes. He was a gorgeous man (mutton chops and all) who married an 18-year old (second or third wife) when he was 60 and fathered four or five children with her. Spoke many languages and sailed around the world before he settled down in the bustling port of Alsea, Oregon.

7-10-11, 5:56pm
Great stuff everybody! I just find the concept of extended longevity related to lifespan fascinating. I myself would love to add an extra 20 (or so) years onto my life, provided I remain healthy and have the genetic makeup and basis for many more good years ahead.

I really appreciate hearing from everyone. This is one of those thread topics where it will be hit and miss with me. One day I may add a post or two, then nothing for a day or two. It's so complex and futuristic that I have a hard time grasping the thought of life-extension.

7-10-11, 6:00pm
A great-grandmother of mine (dad's father's mother) died in 1981. She was born in 1876. Had a very difficult life, lots of hard labor. Things didn't get easier for her until she was in her 40s or so. Her mind went when she was in her early 90s. When she died, it wasn't from any particular disease, her body was just worn out.

7-10-11, 7:27pm
My husband's grandma is 103. I don't think she takes any prescription. She needs a walker and can't hear or see very well, but still getting around. But like Tradd says, she is wearing out. But her daughter and her grandson, who live with her (and bring in the groceries, drives her places) have all kinds of diseases (lupus, diabetes, some other things). She will probably outlive them.

My mom had Parkinson's and it made the last 7 years of her life miserable. It took her mind, then took her ability to walk or feed herself. It was horrible. When she did pass away, me and my brother were relieved rather than grieved. Our grieving was the 7 years before, when we really lost her.

7-11-11, 12:33am
Tradd and H-work, I love hearing about stories like these. Thanks for sharing them. It definitely causes me to pause and think...

7-11-11, 1:02am
If you are really serious about avoiding any possible risk of downsides of aging, I would suggest getting out of here before 80, living to 80 or longer has pretty high risk of that.

7-11-11, 1:40pm
Well I figure I can always go bungee jumping or something once I get too decrepit for a pleasant life. :)

7-11-11, 2:57pm
ApatheticNoMore. That does seem to be such the case doesn't it. This made me to think back to an old neighbour of ours who seemed to escape the aging process. She reached 80 and was still like a young twenty year old, full of energy, alive, attractive, sharp mind, then (so it seemed) all was lost, as if overnight. She lasted a couple of years and passed away. But for the longest time DH and I would say to one another, "she's going to live to be 120"!

Madsen. LMAO! Yes, so true. I'll venture to say that our world will always have an abundance of dangerous things to try/do.

7-11-11, 5:08pm
Eightyish does seem to be where most people check out, one way or the other. Judging from my parents, I estimate my demise at around 87. Hope I don't last longer than my brain...

7-12-11, 9:17pm
My two worst fears are, one, loosing my physical independence and, two, loosing my ability to remain on my own through mental breakdown. As long as I have my smarts and mobility, let me have life, take any one or both of those things away, take my life away.

7-20-11, 4:32pm
I find the anti-aging movement kind of sad.
I would rather prepare for a joyous old age, knowing that my limitations will grow as I age. There is really no way around it.
I used to think 53 was ancient, but now that I'm there - reading glasses, gray hair, wrinkles, arthritis, menopause - it's just a different way of being. I'm happier now than ever.

7-20-11, 5:05pm
Hi Gardenarian! :) You express many great points. I, too, have a side to me that says, "age with beauty and grace and accept life for what it is, temporary". Yet when I think of medical and scientific advances I think, "wouldn't that be neat", to be able to exceed our present day average age expectancy and progress forth to another level. But finding happiness within, related to contentment and satisfaction is a such a bonus, too. Just to be able to reach that point in ones life and say, "I'm totally happy"! Totally happy with who I am, what I am, and where I'm going... :)

7-20-11, 6:42pm
The reason I think going to extreme measures to live longer (such as calorie restriction) is dumb is that our plans can be thwarted in an instant by one errant car! or a misstep on a snowy sidewalk. Man, if I were losing consciousness in either of those situations, I'd think to myself, I should have eaten more brownies!

It's kind of a false goal. I think of some of the great people in history, and their longevity was probably the furthest thing from their minds--like Martin Luther King, and Jesus, and JFK and Mozart and a lot of people who died before "their time." Their time was the moment in which they were creating for the world, and serving humanity.

THAT BEING SAID, I have to admit a personal shortcoming--lately, I have been obsessed, not with with my own longevity, but that of my DH. My DH is not perfect. He drinks. He smokes. He eats WonderBread. He never eats vegetables. He practically eats butter by the pound. A doctor that I interviewed today on the topic of hypertension described some patients as "Pickwickian" and that's my husband. His favorite picture on his wall is one in which there's a really fat 17th century character sitting under a tree with drink and food without a care in the world. He identifies strongly with that character.

But, he's mine and I love him.

So, now that we are both nearing 60, I have been so fearful that my time with him is limited. I KNOW!! FEAR--False Evidence Appearing Real. I know it's not rational, but I have to work hard not to freak out when I hear him inhaling that god-awful cigar smoke into his lungs--or seeing him turning away from my healthy bean/veggie offering in favor of a 99 cent pack of hot dogs. The other day I found solace in a website that listed a bunch of centenarians that smoked a couple of packs a day their whole lives.

So, I try AS HARD AS CAN to focus on the moment and realize that I have absolutely no idea when either one of us will be called to depart this earth. Funny--I'm a very rational, fear-less person in almost everthing--so this whole new feeling is throwing me for a loop.

so, Mrs-M ,if you find a longevity clinic for people who seemingly do everything they can to shorten their lives, please let me know!

7-20-11, 10:59pm
Catherine. Your post is filled with a delightful mix of comedy and seriousness! :) Most enjoyable! I remember my oldest son watching the television series, Highlander. What intrigued me about the show was the characters portrayed who were several hundred years old. Maybe it's a not wanting to let go thing that occurs in the imagination of mankind, a dream of being able to face mortality and cast a charged arch it's way to redirect it away from the natural aging and dying process.