Scientist Claims Immortality Is Coming... But There's A Catch

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 - 9:16AM
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Tuesday, 20 February 2018 - 9:16AM
Scientist Claims Immortality Is Coming... But There's A Catch
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Image credit: Pixabay/Public Domain
Death is such a pain. There's no opt-out, and decomposing is a hassle.

Not for long, though. According to scientist Dr. Ian Pearson, immortality may be achieved by as early as 2050... For some of us.

The past few decades have brought phenomenal developments in medical science that significantly improve our chances of living longer, healthier lives. But could we take it even further? Experts are debating just how possible it might be in the near future to extend life indefinitely. Some argue that it's impossible to keep a body going forever; others contend that it's only a matter of time before science makes death a thing of the past.



Pearson expects we'll see the beginnings of immortality within the next few decades, but (initially, at least) it will be far too expensive for the masses:

Opening quote
"By 2050, it will only really be for the rich and famous. Most people on middle-class incomes and reasonable working-class incomes can probably afford this in the 2060s. So anyone 90 or under by 2060. If you were born sometime in 1970 onwards, that would make you 48 this year, so anybody under 50 has got a good chance of it, and anyone under 40 almost definitely will have access to this."
Closing quote


This all sounds a bit too much like the recent Netflix show Altered Carbon, in which the world's wealthy elite are able to enjoy endless lifetimes of fun while the poorer among society only get a relatively short span of time on Earth.

Presumably these expensive medical marvels would eventually become available to the wider public, so the trick is simply surviving until immortality becomes affordable. (No big deal, right?)

Pearson's predictions do seem a little optimistic. There are a lot of obstacles to navigate before we reach the point where humans can live forever.

The biggest challenge, perhaps, is mental deterioration. While we're certainly getting better at keeping people alive longer, we're not necessarily able to slow the effects of aging on the human brain just yet.

We must consider whether immortality would ultimately be worth the price. Sure, we could keep the body functioning long after its expiration date... But if we're all slowly losing our sense of identity as the years drag on, this might not actually be the blessing that it sounds like.

There is, of course, another problem to contend with: a cure for death might not be such good thing for humanity if we all keep breeding. The planet would very quickly become overrun if old people stopped politely stepping down and letting successive generations have a turn at ruling the Earth.

If we are to achieve immortality without enduring an incredible population boom, we need to either build some off-world colonies – soon – or think long and hard about whether having offspring is all that good of an idea.

When it comes to the choice between allowing our children to have a future, and hoarding this world's precious resources for ourselves, it does feel a little selfish to try to defy death itself.

Perhaps that's the real reason that only the wealthy will initially make use of this technology: they're already used to keeping the good stuff for themselves.
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Scientist claims immortality will be attainable by 2050
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