Radical Life Extension: Can We Live Forever Through Science

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Human immortality has been one of mankind's favorite topics seemingly forever. Most religions are, in some way, based on the promise of eternal life. Writers have speculated about it from the Epic of Gilgamesh to Dracula to Harry Potter's Philosophers stone and scientists have looked for the key since days when the Earth was flat and the center of the universe.

Now human science and technology may finally be close to solving the problem. Genetic engineering, robotics, cybernetics, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence may combine to extend human life indefinitely.

This may all sound far-fetched but many of the things we take for granted now were once unimaginable. When my Grandmother was born, on a farm in Kansas in 1918, they didn't have indoor plumbing, cars, electricity, radio, television and couldn't even imagine smart phones or the internet. If anything people have generally underestimated what technology would bring and the speed with which it would happen. Have a look at this Lady's Home Journal article from 1900 containing their predictions for the year 2000. Vastly expanded human life expectancy at this point is realistic enough that Google has a division devoted to it.

These two videos will, in the simplest terms, help non-scientists to understand what is happening and what may be achieved. The first is from The Advanced Apes and provides a broad overview. The second video, from PHD comics, looks specifically at the aging process, what is known about it and how it could be altered.

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