Immortality awaits

stubeeef

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"I think it's reasonable to suppose that one could oscillate between being biologically 20 and biologically 25 indefinitely." -- Aubrey de Grey

Time may indeed be on your side. If you can just last another quarter century.

By then, people will start lives that could last 1,000 years or more. Our human genomes will be modified to include the genetic material of microorganisms that live in the soil, enabling us to break down the junk proteins that our cells amass over time and which they can't digest on their own. People will have the option of looking and feeling the way they did at 20 for the rest of their lives, or opt for an older look if they get bored. Of course, everyone will be required to go in for age rejuvenation therapy once every decade or so, but that will be a small price to pay for near-immortality.

This may sound like science fiction, but Aubrey de Grey thinks this could be our reality in as little as 25 years. Other scientists caution that it is far from clear whether and for how long science can stall the inevitable.
Looks like "War and Peace" will end up looking like a short read. And you might as well buy in bulk at the grocery store.
 

stoid

macrumors 601
I don't want to live forever. I think that the hardships of this world, of trying to earn a living and such goes on long enough as it is.

Now, if I could live a good 80 years, but have the health and strength of a 25 year old all my life rather than suffering the decline as my body deteriorates, that I might be interested in.
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
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We are SO not ready for immortality, even if it is possible (which I don't believe it is... not yet, and not anytime soon).

For starters, we all still live HERE. When people (and not ALL people, just those rich enough to afford the "immortality process") start living forever, the population is going to spike sharply. Also, the inevitable class war between those who "live forever" and those who don't will be UGLY.

We need to be out THERE before we start doing something crazy like living forever. As Kosh said on Babylon 5, "You are not ready [for immortality]."
 

CorvusCamenarum

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2004
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Birmingham, AL
Makes you wonder if they'd rewrite the laws on assisted suicide. After a few hundred years people would start succumbing to Highlander Syndrome or something.

Maybe the current administration should look into this - then they could raise the retirement age to 200.

Joking aside, I think I remember reading somewhere that it was determined that we have a genetic switch of sorts that decides when it's time for our cells to stop regenerating. Don't quote me on this as I'm not a scientist and I don't pretend to fully understand how it all works, but if they can find out how to keep that switch from triggering...
 

Eevee

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2004
791
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New Haven, CT
If there we live for 1000 years and feeling 20 yrs old, we would have to start colonizing other planets. Like the book "The Martian Chronicles."

I kinda agree with stoid. Old but feeling like 20 is interesting.
 
Immortality would do our species a disservice...

Evolution depends on death.

Besides, to live forever would mean that you believe you have forever to get things done. Important things would NEVER get done then. Immortality is a procrastinator's DREAM!

Imagine the horror if you COULDN'T die. Not even kill yourself by starving or jumping in front of a train... Kind of like Groundhog Day, but with different days... Different day, same shi*...
 

stubeeef

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Aug 10, 2004
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I hope I can be the jr asst mgr at burgerworld for 985 years! :eek:
 

stoid

macrumors 601
stubeeef said:
I hope I can be the jr asst mgr at burgerworld for 985 years! :eek:
Maybe this 'immortality' wouldn't be for everyone, just leader/visionary types. If age brings wisdom, it would just make sense to have a 500 year old running the show especially with the vigor of a 20 year old.


[yoda] When 900 years old you reach, look as good, you will not! Hmmph! [/yoda]
 

stubeeef

macrumors 68030
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Aug 10, 2004
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stoid said:
Maybe this 'immortality' wouldn't be for everyone, just leader/visionary types. If age brings wisdom, it would just make sense to have a 500 year old running the show especially with the vigor of a 20 year old.


[yoda] When 900 years old you reach, look as good, you will not! Hmmph! [/yoda]
Well as the jr asst mgr at burgerworld I could be that leader/visionary, who else would have 100 yrs experience on on each of the shake machine, fyer, soda fountain, cash register, and mop bucket! I could be all that I could be! :p I would also reach 1000 lbs in less than 1000yrs on the chocolate shakes alone!!

This could be utopia. :eek:

edit: with the 20yr old body, does that mean 1000 yrs of zits?
 

Flickta

macrumors 6502
Nov 20, 2002
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Born in USSR
clayjohanson said:
As Kosh said on Babylon 5, "You are not ready [for immortality]."
I respect Kosh greatly... But he said that more or less because immortality in Babylon 5 was tightly connected with death (using blood to create the medicine).

And really, if the situation will change that drastically (I think not), I am sure we'll just have to learn how to live with it. Like we all live with nuclear missiles aimed at each other's home.
 

Drgnhntr

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2004
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San Diego
The two reasons I know of for aging involve your DNA and toxins. Your cells can only divide a set certain number of times before they start to "mess up". This typically leads to the death of the cell. The other reason is that cells make toxins as a bi-product of metabolism which causes degredation of your DNA. If you were to fix these two problems I don't see why people wouldn't live a lot longer.

The article mentions genomic manipulation. That is a tricky thing politically and ethically and I see those things stalling the process more than the science. Another point I wanted to add was that while you are doing the genetic manipulation you can fix things other than aging. Any sort of genetic disease; diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer's, MS, cancer, etc. So this isn't just making people live longer, but also increasing the quality of that life.

The process also seems like it needs to be done regularly, so if you want to die, just don't do it and you will age normally. Also, none of this research will save you from being shot or falling off a cliff.
 

mpw

Guest
Jun 18, 2004
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Drgnhntr said:
...Also, none of this research will save you from being shot or falling off a cliff.
After a couple of decades with nobody dying we're all going to be packed so tight together shoulder to shoulder that should you happen upon a cliff there'll be a nice cushion of a billion other people to break your fall.
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
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Well, the basic problem here is that this guy is trying to wage a war against entropy... the one thing in the Universe that ultimately cannot be defeated. Aging is a universal concept... stars do it, galaxies do it, planets do it, and organic life does it. In the long run, you simply cannot defeat entropy.

The quest for immortality may bring us a lot of side benefits, such as cures for diseases and improved quality of life... but I hope we never actually get to immortality itself. To achieve this would diminish our humanity and, I believe, would cause more problems than it solves.
 

rainman::|:|

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
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iowa
Everyone go read Vonnegut. Right now.

I'd like to live for, maybe a few hundred years. Granted I may not feel that way after the first 100 are up. But right now, i'd say 400 would be cool. Definitely not forever, wow, no.
 

BrianKonarsMac

macrumors 65816
Apr 28, 2004
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what a miracle science is.

it can do so much, but we pervert it to our own twisted ends.

immortality? we can't even fix our own planet's problems.

baby steps, fix the world, then work on living forever =P.
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
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Immortality has been the dream of humans since the beginning of time. We are not really any closer to finding cures for diseases. Many of them cause a decrease in quality of life. What is needed more is for humans to have a quality of life. At least I would prefer to be alert and able to do all my activities of dailing living. Having enjoyment of life is very important.
 

aloofman

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Dec 17, 2002
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I think human immortality may very well happen someday. But I predict that only the immortal ones living today will live to see it.
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,473
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visiting from downstream
parrothead said:
Imagine what you would have to buy your spouse on the 400th wedding anniversary. :eek:
Another relevant quote, again from Babylon 5... Lorien (who just happens to be immortal): "Only those whose lives are brief can imagine that love is eternal."

In other words, it's REALLY unlikely that you'd still love your SO after 400 years together.

(The full quote: "To live on as we have [forever] is to leave behind joy, and love, and companionship, because we know it to be transitory, of the moment. We know it will turn to ash. Only those whose lives are brief can imagine that love is eternal. You should embrace that remarkable illusion. It may be the greatest gift your race has ever received.")
 

dubbz

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Sep 3, 2003
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jayscheuerle said:
Evolution depends on death.

Besides, to live forever would mean that you believe you have forever to get things done. Important things would NEVER get done then. Immortality is a procrastinator's DREAM!

Imagine the horror if you COULDN'T die. Not even kill yourself by starving or jumping in front of a train... Kind of like Groundhog Day, but with different days... Different day, same shi*...
Me (normal): "I'll just do it next week instead."
Me (immortal): "I'll just do it next century instead."
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
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clayjohanson said:
We are SO not ready for immortality, even if it is possible (which I don't believe it is... not yet, and not anytime soon).

For starters, we all still live HERE. When people (and not ALL people, just those rich enough to afford the "immortality process") start living forever, the population is going to spike sharply. Also, the inevitable class war between those who "live forever" and those who don't will be UGLY.

We need to be out THERE before we start doing something crazy like living forever. As Kosh said on Babylon 5, "You are not ready [for immortality]."
many things happened before we as a society and as humans were ready and i am sure we can think of the consequences that arise ;)

1) invention of the car, but making the driving age 16 to add insult to injury
2) ah, i can only think of the first one since i have to drive every day...ha...i say raise the legal driving age to 25!!
 

Drgnhntr

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2004
101
0
San Diego
BrianKonarsMac said:
what a miracle science is.

it can do so much, but we pervert it to our own twisted ends.

immortality? we can't even fix our own planet's problems.

baby steps, fix the world, then work on living forever =P.
Immortality may fix the planet's problem. If people live for a thousand years, they will see the effects of their actions first hand. No more passing problems onto furture generations, they will have to deal with them in their lifetime.
 

CorvusCamenarum

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2004
1,231
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Birmingham, AL
DavidLeblond said:
An Apple G355 Powerbook with Mac OS X 10.423
Since Bill Gates will obviously be able to afford the no-death diskombobulation, maybe he'll have Longhorn out by then :rolleyes:

It wouldn't be a PB by then, it'd be a neural chipset implant.