The BBC ran an interesting article by University of Cambridge geneticist Aubrey de Grey on how we may all live to be 1,000 years old.
de Grey writes: "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." For the article see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4003063.stm
The idea to increase life expectancy is to repair all the types of molecular and cellular damage that happen to us over time. Since these therapies repair accumulated damage the ageing process can be reversed. "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".
So will many of us forum members be making music and posting 1000 years from now? Probably according to this article.
Wow, that's very interesting! My first reaction is to be skeptic, though. It's nice to be optimistic, but I kind of doubt this will happen. If I end up being wrong, however, I will be very happy indeed! Think of what a great composer I could be if I lived for that long!
Also, this might cause a debate because what if poorer people could afford the treatments to prevent ageing?
Man, how nice would this look on a gravestone? "Sean Hannifin: 1985-2985"
One of the worlds major problems is the total over population of the planet. The human race has found very suitable living conditions and as with any animals in near ideal conditions the numbers swell to plague proportions until it then collapses due to the ecology not being able to support it.
It is believed that a number of South American and Asian civilisations rose and disappeared thousands of years before and after the bible was written due to this cycle. A lot of folk can see what's coming but there is nothing that will happen to prevent ultimate disaster because of business, politics and religion. Let's not go there. The best we can hope for is a major cull by war or disease!
The very last thing we need is extended life....that would be the final straw!! There are already severe demographic problems in Europe due to an ageing population.....it's a great worry to some of us....
Sorry to be a doom and gloom merchant.....but you've got to laugh haven't you? Play GPO while you can.....
Tell you what Frank, I'll remember to put flowers on your grave every 100 years or so. I'd rather be able to stick around longer.
P.S. The downside to living 1,000 years is that I don't think my wife could put up with me for that long.
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Eh, I don't really buy the over-population argument, especially after driving across the U.S. and seeing the vast amounts of empty space everywhere. And I think there's more than enough resources on Earth to sustain many more billions of people, especially if we harness the real possibilities of solar and nuclear energy. The problem is distribution of the space and the resources. When you've got so many thousands of people living in one city block in Japan, and so much food and energy wasted in our country, then yeah, it seems like we could never sustain that many more people.
First, these age-enhancing drug therapies would really have to be a complete 180 from current practice, as most of today's drug therapies are far more long-term destructive to the body and it's immune system than are helpful. (I'm speaking specifically of current drug-regime treatment of various acute and chronic diseases, e.g., cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc). And if nothing else, aging is simply a very slow, very chronic disease.
On the other hand, if such an anti-aging therapy were to become viable to the point of actually increasing lifespans to 1000+ years, mankind would be almost as likely to determine how to live essentially "forever" within another couple hundred years.