Immortality Quotes (647 quotes)
Some bad news for those who want to live forever (you wont)
Anyone who's passed the age of 35 knows that we're not built to last. Many of us will slog it out to 76 years, the expected lifetime for American males -- females get two thousand extra days -- but even when young, our bodies barely work, and that marginal situation only worsens as the decades drone on. It's worth noting that a lifetime of four-score and seven is a new problem for our species. If you lived in Egypt two hundred generations ago, perhaps with a gratifying job as stone chiseler in Giza, you wouldn't worry much about career burnout. You'd be dead by age forty.
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In Oscar Wilde's novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray," the main character barters his soul for eternal youth but becomes wicked and immoral in the process. Leon Kass believes humanity risks striking a similar Faustian bargain if it pursues technology that extends life spans beyond what is natural. If our species ever does unlock the secrets of aging and learns to live forever, we might not lose our souls, but, like Dorian, we will no longer be human either, says Kass, a bioethicist at the University of Chicago and a longtime critic of life-extension research. For Kass, to argue that life is better without death is to argue "that human life would be better being something other than human. Kass' position is controversial, but it gets at some of the central issues surrounding the life extension debate: What is aging?
If humans became immortal, the species would be at a biological disadvantage, says evolutionary biologist Andre Martins of Brazil's University of Sao Paolo. In a computer simulation which pits an immortal species against one which prunes its population, the species that grows old "can drive immortal competitors to extinction," writes Martins. When there is change and mutation, each generation is slightly better adapted to the new conditions. What are the prospects for immortality? Futurist Ray Kurzweil believes that computer technology will advance far enough by that human minds will be uploaded onto servers, thus achieving a kind of body-less immortality. He focuses on approaches that 'defeat' ageing in the body.
Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment lived to the age of eating pounds of chocolate a week, riding a bicycle until age and smoking until a few years before her death. Life expectancy has been increasing over the last several decades, and some have even argued that there is no limit to how long humans could live, especially given modern advances in health and technology. But the researchers Dr. By focusing on the oldest age at death in France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States all of which have the largest recorded numbers of people aged and older they found age at death had been increasing rapidly until the mids, at which point the measure plateaued. Related: The cost of living longer -- much longer.