Saturday, February 17, 2007

"I wanna live forever" ... um, no, not really

Every once in a while I run across a crackpot in the news that intrigues me, certainly for his element of crackpotness (is that even a word?) but also because someone somewhere gave him enough credibility to go and publish an article about said crackpot.

Today's crackpot is Aubrey de Grey. This kook is working on a plan to break down the aging process...indefinitely. Read the article here.

The article is not for everybody--I mean, I can imagine that most of you have about a 30 second attention span with this blog anyway, but, I know there are a few who will link to the article and read it. You won't be disappointed if you're seeking comic relief.

He says some pretty honest things about the way scientists think (he's not a biologist, but a computer scientist). I especially like how he comes to the conclusion that we could live a thousand years. Essentially, he says that if you are healthy and having fun, you won't be interested in dying, and this condition could go on indefinitely. Crackpot!

You'll love his reasons for choosing mice for his experiment. He thinks we like mice more than fruit flies. I don't do it justice--read it for yourselves, even if it's just to check out his ZZ Top beard.

10 comments:

Mike said...

Hes actually a biomedical gerontologist at the University of Cambridge. The "1000 year lifespan" is the estimated average that humans would live to today if we factored out age related deaths from mortality data. And your right he is quite contorvercial, but Engineered negligible senescence or SENS (the theory that he is supporting for life extension) has yet to be disproved. There is currently a
$20,000 dollar prize from MIT and the MPRIZE to anyone who can debunk
the theory, five submissions were made to the Challenge and all five were thrown out by a panel of neutral judges. His foundation the MPRIZE (Basically an xprize for life extension) has received millions in donations including $3.5 million from the CEO and founder of PayPal. He has been featured in a host of reputable programs including 60 minutes, BBC, and the CBC. So he may be controversial but I wouldn't call him a crackpot just yet.

you obviously wouldn't "get" my blog... said...

As you can see from what the previous commenter stated... The man is obviously Far from a "crackpot" as you put it...

He is a brilliantly talented, visionary man...

Have you actually ever sat down and thought about death, I mean really, really thought about it, the end of your life, everything... there'll be no more coffee's and random thoughts then...

If more people did this then I tell you a whole lot more people would be behind this work, which they damn should be!

I don't want to die, and I can't ever see a day when I will, so yes, I'll say the apparently "unthinkable" - I Want to live forever!- and I'm going to do everything in my power for that to become a reality for me and my family...

As far as kids are concerned, well... that's the trade off isn't it... far too many people have children who shouldn't in todays world and besides, people who are alive and living Today are far more important than people who don't exist yet...

So please why don't you try thinking outside your box...

Vicky said...

i don't know why i'm responding to this. i mean really. these comments made me laugh more than the actual article. but i shall, just for argument's sake.

quoting mike.....

"The '1000 year lifespan' is the estimated average that humans would live to today if we factored out age related deaths from mortality data."

That really is an amazing statement. Basically you're saying we would live forever if we didn't die of old age. Amazing. Thank you captain obvious. That's like saying that trees would stay green and keep their leaves in the winter if they didn't turn yellow and red and orange and lose their leaves. Brilliant.

And to the guy whose blog i obviously wouldn't get, because you are way too intellectual for me: if God had intended us to live forever, He would have made us that way. Don't you think you would ever get tired of living for 1000 years? You would run out of things to do. Read Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. The book explores the concept of immortality, and the reasons why it might not be as beneficial as it appears at first glance.

Anyways, that's all I got. I'll leave you with a final thought though.....arguing over the internet is like competing in the special olympics. even if you win, you're still retarded :)

~vicky

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

To Vicky, in response to "Basically you're saying we would live forever if we didn't die of old age"

No he's not, he's saying that if we don't die of old age, we'll die of something else. And mortality rates not related to aging, e.g. the mortality rate of a young adult in the developed world, suggest a resulting median lifespan of the order of 1000 years.

Not actually the statement of the obvious it may first appear.

Nic

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