Aging Exponentially

July 11 2008 / by Jeff Hilford / In association with Future
Category: Health & Medicine   Year: General   Rating: 13 Hot

One of the themes on Future Blogger and for fans of accelerating change in general is life extension and the prospect of relative immortality. We covered this topic in our very first interview with Aubrey de Grey and Dick Pelletier has addressed it many times. One of the core arguments in this debate is that, regardless of increasing life expectancy rates, humans have an upper limit. This is probably best categorized as the Hayflick limit argument . That there is a maximum number of years that a human can live and if nothing gets to you before reaching that threshhold, when you do, that’s it – it’s over. That limit is about 120 years of age, with the oldest documented lifespan being the 122 attained by Jean Calumet

Increases in life expectancy are ultimately discounted by this assumption. In response to Jack Uldrich’s recent piece on the prospect of living to 1000, John Frink correctly points out that the radical increase in life expectancy that developed societies have experienced over the last 170 years or so (roughly doubling) is largely due to advances in health/medicine and hygiene. He cites the vast reduction in the infant mortality rate as being of particular note. But that is more reflective of initial gains and merely part of a larger trend at work. (cont.)

Continue Reading