It is pleasant to see a healthy, sensible attitude to the future of longevity spreading more widely through that great and continuous discussion that is the internet. See this post, for example:
Not being a scientist it was this argument that had most interest to me. I lack the knowledge to be able to comment on reversing damage to cells but I can take issue with the belief that to be human is to die at 70 or even 100.
I find such a belief patronising and analogous to “well-travelled” middle Englanders who take delight in pronouncing how long is appropriate in a particular holiday destination. Tell one of these “know-it-alls” you are going to Paris and they will say “Oh how lovely. Mind you, you wouldn’t want more than a week there. You will have seen everything in a week”. (“See everything in Paris in a week ” I silently cry incredulously) These people will also advise on 2 week limits for a beach holiday (obviously Robinson Crusoe went wrong here) or a minimum period in relation to more far flung destinations like Australia (“Oh you must go for 3 weeks to make it worth while”). Such statements that come out as ex cathedra pronouncements rather than personal preferences put my back up and I snobbily tell them I once went to Chile for a 4 day visit.
Anyway, to return to life, I find statements that human life is limited to 100 years similar to a suburban philosopher saying “Life as a human being. 70 years is nice but you wouldn’t want more than a 100. 110 is too much. Whatever next you’ll be spending a fortnight in Rome!”
Maybe the biggest obstacle to a successful 1,000 year life is our attitudes. By our 20s many of us think we know it all. In our current age especially there is a world weary cynicism, “we’ve seen it all before” attitude. It’s not cool to be surprised, even amazed.
Well if Mr. de Grey is right I would like to think I would be happy to learn something completely new on my 383 rd birthday. When we fear age now, we think of decline and illness but if aging could be “cured” we would be as healthy at 650 as at 35.
What we can achieve for the future of rejuvenation or longevity science is a function of how large and dedicated an infrastructure can be built. The speed with which that infrastructure can be built, and its research community populated, is a function of public support and understanding of the scientific quest to understand, repair and prevent the molecular damage of aging. The more people who come to see matters as in the quoted passage above, the faster this process will progress.