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Humans 'will live to age of 150'

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posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 07:26 AM
Some human beings alive today will live to the age of 150, a prominent researcher has claimed.
Steven Austad, of the University Of Texas Health Science Center, told BBC World Service's Discovery programme that life span for a human being may be much longer than most people have considered possible.

And he said that he was virtually certain some children alive now would live to the year 2150.

"The evolutionary picture of the human being is quite an interesting one, because what we've managed to do is create an environment for ourselves that is much safer than anything we've lived in before," he explained.

"So even in the absence of medical advances, with just evolutionary change, in the foreseeable future one would expect humans to age at a slower and slower and slower rate."

Life expectancy

In the industrialised world, more and more people are living even into their 90s and 100s - and there is no sign yet of the trend levelling off.

It is this that is causing, for example, fears of pension crises in many Western countries.

But it is also evident than in some pre-industrial societies around the globe today, there are people who are surviving into their 70s and 80s, despite a lack of, for example, readily available medicines.

Wasps that work together live a lot longer than solitary species
Dr Austad's prediction relates in part to research designed to understand how long human beings would actually live for if left in the natural world.

Jim Carey, a biodemographer from the University of California at Davis, analysed the relative body and brain sizes of a range of mammals and found that on our own, it would be likely we would die at between 30 and 40 years old.

The fact that we do not is down to two factors: our brain size and our sociality - the ability to specialise and act together.

Dr Carey explained that the brain, being the instrument of social behaviour, is the key.

"We would estimate that humans would live for 30-40 years just based on size," he said.

"But sociality - and more specifically brain size - comes into this, and brain size and sociality are also related.

"So when you factor in the brain size on this, then you get an estimate of 70-90 years for the human life span."

Winning bet

Dr Carey explained that in the natural world, it has been observed that solitary wasps have a life span of 10 days to two weeks - but advanced, social wasps can live for two to three years.

In other advanced social groups of insects, such as termites and ants, the Queens can live for two or three decades.

Evidence that of our ancestors lived beyond 40 is scarce
"Once you have helpers, plus a nest, the mortality conditions and risks are a bit different," he added.

"The nest provides protection, but also with helpers, you evolve defensive behaviour. You start specialising so that the mother can be reproductive."

Similarly, lions, which live in social groups, live longer than tigers, which are essentially solitary.

And there is very little evidence of our nomadic human ancestors living into their 40s or 50s.

"We are left with the idea of explaining why we humans live much longer than we should for our body size," Dr Austad said.

"One reasonable guess about why that may be true is that we live in these complex groups that provide us some protection that we wouldn't have if we were out there on our own."

Meanwhile, he added that he was so certain that someone alive today will still be alive in 2150, he had placed a bet on it with a friend.

"It's a bet that I feel I'm so overwhelmingly likely to win, I feel like I've stolen the money from him."

Do you think in the future, the life expectancy of a average human being will continue to rise rise and rise?

[edit on 24-10-2004 by Minime]

posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 08:06 AM
I don't know about you all...but I rather not live to be 150...just imagine all the health problems you would have by then and on a more shallow you would look. I imagine by the time you hit 150 you would look like a walking corpse...there is only so much science can do to prevent aging...

posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 09:09 AM
I bet Henry Kissinger wouldnt mind living to about 500yrs old!

i have heard that he intends to be Yoda at life expectancy!!!

posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 09:50 AM
How far can we really go on though with all this medical advances increasing our life expectensy. There's people at 80 right now looking like they are already in their graves, almost doubling that, who would want to live that old?

posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 09:56 AM

Originally posted by fusion360
How far can we really go on though with all this medical advances increasing our life expectensy. There's people at 80 right now looking like they are already in their graves, almost doubling that, who would want to live that old?

People want to see what the world will be like in years time, they want to see how technology has progressed, true, they may be really old looking and ugly, but that comes last at the end of the day. Looks does'nt mean everything.

posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 10:00 AM
Minime can you please edit your initial post to include the link to the article. Thanks...

posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 11:20 AM
I remember a song going "At twenty women are pretty, at thirty it depends on them".

I think that's the bottom line of aging. Depending on lots of stuff - your family genes, what kind of care you take of yourself, what kind of accidents or illnesses you have in your life - you can look pretty good at 80 (look at Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush) or pretty horrible (the Pope, who despite being one of the most athletic pontiffs ever, suffered complications from the assassination attempt and developed Parkinson's disease).

For those interested in aging and supercentenarians (those who reach 110 years of age), I invite you to look at a favorite site of mine, the Gerontology Research Group:

The webmaster of that site, Robert Young, spends an incredible amount of time researching supercentenarian claims, documenting them and validating them if possible.

Up to now, there have been only 8 validated cases of someone living to be 116 or older. The three oldest are Jeanne Calment (France) at 122, Shigechiyo Izumi (Japan) at 120, and Sarah Knauss (US) at 119. The present oldest person alive, Hendrikje Van Andel of Holland, is "only" 114 - the age Robert Young postulates the current age limit of human beings to be, with about 20 exceptions of people who lived to be 115 or older.

Another news item I must find again (I saw it about a year ago) is about two scientists betting on whether someone alive today will reach 150, probably by 2125-2150. How the winner will collect the wager, I have no idea...

EDITED to add link

[edit on 24-10-2004 by Otts]

[edit on 24-10-2004 by Otts]

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