IMMORTALITY — The Science of Living Forever

Although Ageing can be beautiful, it may become obsolete

IMMORTALITY, WHAT IS IT?

At a language level, we can see that the word ‘immortality’ is formed from the word ‘-mortality’ plus the prefix ‘im-‘. Mortality means, “the ability to die” and the prefix “im-“, is a negation. So the first stab at a definition for immortality could be, “the lack of ability to die”. But, on closer inspection, this definition is too broad and imprecise. The inability to die says nothing about our ability to age or regenerate our bodies.

THE SCIENCE OF IMMORTALITY — 3 STRATEGIES

STRATEGY 1 — BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES + MEDICINE + AGRICULTURE

The dominant strategy used by modern western scientists thus far has been based on a biological, medical and agricultural centred approach. The idea was to treat or cure disease with modern pharmaceuticals; improve nutritional quality, quantity and availability; and treat trauma as best as possible via surgery and rehabilitative care. Arguably, the aims of this approach were more modest than the extremely ambitious goal of striving for immortality, but it is the same need or desire which motivates the development of this strategy — the desire to live longer and healthier. Scientists were simply happy to extend the average expected human lifespan. Nowadays, however, this strategy is being taken to the extreme with some research being focused on the development of biological, medical and genetic techniques to limit or stop ageing altogether.

  1. Remove the causes of cellular ageing
  2. Grow and replace organs as needed in the case of failure or trauma
  3. Cure all disease and illness via medicine, nutrition and lifestyle

STRATEGY 2 — BIOTECH, NANOTECH & CYBERNETICS

In this strategy, we are no longer simply looking to chemically, pharmaceutically or medically help the body to become immortal. In this strategy, research is trying to create little machines, smaller than our tiniest cells that roam around in our bloodstreams and tissues, fighting viruses and bacteria, repairing cells and regenerating tissues.

Strategy 3 — Beyond Human

If the source of our mortality is the ‘frail’ human body, then why don’t we just do away with it? This is the ultimate form of immortality and is the basis of a whole movement in modern western society — transhumanism.

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