Curing the Problem of Aging

Found via Aubrey de Grey, a Cambridge University geneticist, has said, “The first person to live to be 1,000 years old is certainly alive today; indeed, he or she may be about to turn 60 … Whether they realize it or not, barring accidents and suicide, most people now 40 years or younger can expect to live for centuries.”

And as is to be expected, probably a majority of scientists dismiss de Grey’s claims, but there are others who support his research, if not necessarily the extremely optimistic claim of living a millennium.

Frankly, I have no idea if this is possible.

Biblically, I cannot deny the humans have been living shorter lifespans, on average. I personally doubt any of us will ever top Methuselah’s impressive 969 years. A great deal of people believe Genesis 6:3 limits mankind’s lifespan to 120 years, but I’m fairly certain (and I feel it is more obvious) that the Lord here speaks of mankind in general and that the 120 years was the time period between then and the Deluge.

Later, we see in Psalm 90:10 an observation about man’s lifespan being in the 70s to 80s range; however, that does not seem to be a regulative statement.

Perhaps the most pertinent verse is Hebrews 9:27, which tells us that it is appointed unto man once to die. In other words, death is not a natural thing — it is an appointed, certain thing. “Death has your number” indeed, but more likely it is the Lord, waiting for the preordained time to pull you from this earth into eternity.

I do not see longevity research ever threatening our appointments with death. There are far too many causes in this world for science to stop them all. Frankly, mankind is far too creative when it comes to killing each other — whether we Supersize our hearts into failure or we atomize our enemies with bigger, badder bombs.

What I did observe in the few comments on the Healthbolt post, however, is that people seem to think that with that much time, they would get bored. If I may, let me make a few observations about that:

  • If boredom is implicit in having a longer life, then I claim that as support for my belief that in secular worldviews, life is without purpose or value.
  • If boredom is implicit in having a longer life, then it seems an admission that our enjoyment of others’ company — whether spouse, friend, or family — is based solely on novelty rather than sincere & lasting love.

I hope no Christian would claim that. Indeed, to be given 1,000 years of life here on earth would be a tremendous boon to our faith — imagine having 1,000 years to share the gospel with countless millions (if not billions). Imagine the degree to which we’d come to understand the Scriptures if given hundreds of years to study them.

And imagine the tremendous encouragement it will be to your faith after hundreds of years of seeing “science falsely so called” fail repeatedly while the Scriptures and the Church still stand strong. We would truly be able to witness that it is the hand of God which builds the church, and not the feeble efforts of man.

Yet while all of that sounds so tremendous, I don’t expect that I’ll live to see even 100, regardless of what de Grey and others’ research may show. As I said, there are many other ways to die, and I expect mine will be health related.

I do find it quite ironic that the one cause of death so many seem to prefer (“I hope to go in my sleep — peacefully and without suffering”) will be the one cause which is cured!

And as an aside, imagine how crazed name addicts will get when they’re able to contemplate sib sets for families of 80+!

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