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Could people live indefinitely and not age?

With the right technology, could people live indefinitely and not age? Will it happen in the near future?
Michael Bramham from Cumbria (Age: 15-24)

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2 Responses

  1. Humans will probably not ever be able to live forever. Or if they ever are able to live for a very long time, it will be after evolving (or being genetically engineered maybe!) into something that is not like today’s humans. For example, humans, who can live to over 100 years, evolved from small mammals which probably only lived about 2-3 years, like mice do. Compared with 2-3 years, 100 years looks like forever, or at least a very long time. This would be like humans living to over 3000 years old.

    The problem is that our genes have evolved so that they do not program us to live for a very long time. They only program us to live until we have reproduced. Then they are less good at allowing us to resist damage and to repair damage, whether the damage is caused from within our bodies or from external causes like infectious diseases. With good medicine and preventive measures currently available we might be able to reach about 140 but even that may be unlikely.

  2. Nothing is forever.

    Humans (and all living things) take sunlight and complex molecules in the form of food and drink and convert them into forms of energy we can use… muscles need to move, neurons need to fire, eyes need to blink, all these things require the expenditure of energy.

    So, human beings are complex energy systems. The second law of thermodynamics is entropy, which is

    The entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.

    Entropy is a tendency of an ordered system towards chaos. In other words, things eventually break down. No matter how good of fuel and oil and how nice you treat a car, it’ll eventually stop running unless you fix it up. People are the same way.

    Chances are some genetic advancements will enable us to live a lot longer naturally (ie if we’re not killed by a car when it breaks down), but we will never live forever in our human form.

    There’s good news though. Although the second law of thermodynamics states that things will eventually break down, the first law states that energy is never created or destroyed, only ever converted. And human beings are energy. 🙂

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