TED Tuesday : Aubrey De Grey on how we can live to be 1000
I find it so fascinating that despite all the advances science has made in learning about our minds and bodies, there are still vast amounts of information that remains unknown. Things that seemed impossible to our ancestors like flying through the sky or curing (now) common diseases are normal for us. I can only imagine what seemingly out of this world things will be commonplace to future generations. I think you’ll enjoy this talk by renown age scientist Aubrey De Grey, who hypothesizes that within the next thirty years, gene therapies will be introduced that will allow us to halt the aging process and life long and extended lives, spanning hundreds of years.
Why You Should Watch:
Cambridge researcher Aubrey de Grey argues that aging is merely a disease — and a curable one at that. Humans age in seven basic ways, he says, all of which can be averted. He provocatively proposes that the first human beings who will live to 1,000 years old.
My Favorite Part:
I just love his sense of humor during this whole talk. He’s got a long pony tail and large bushy beard and he looks a bit more mad than scientist, but you just know after listening to him speak for a few minutes that he would be one of most interesting people to talk to.
I find myself having mixed reactions to this talk. I mean it’s pretty exciting to think about living for 200 years or more, but what if we achieve immortality, which is something he also hypothesizes. That opens up a whole realm of philosophical, theological and moral questions. The points below are pure speculation on my part, and are just some of the ideas that were bouncing around in my mind during this presentation.
Isn’t death natural? – Someone pointed out to me that it’s a little bizarre to pursue this line of research since everything in nature dies. What are some of the implications of circumventing a natural cycle like this?
Can we handle it? – There are already too many people on the planet, what will living forever mean people who want to have children? What will it mean for sustainable business and the resources of our planet? Population control will have to be seriously considered.
What about the afterlife? Now I’m not a religious person by nature, by I know many of my friends are, and they believe that what happens after you die is just a natural progression of human development. So, hypothetically speaking, what if there WAS something really great after death and now we’d never know?
Who will get access to this treatment? At the onset I can guarantee you it will probably be rich people, and I wonder how the world will react if they know there is a treatment available to the elite?
Will we want to live so long? You think working until 65 is a long time, can you imagine your career spanning hundreds of years? And what about opportunity within organizations? 250 years old and still a junior manager? Sucky for you!
What do you think? Where do you stand on the immortality continuum?