Can humans ever become biologically immortal? There are some people who believe that someday that could happen.
Biological immortality — the ability to never die — attracted my interest recently when I watched an old TV episode of “Twilight Zone” called “Long Live Walter Jameson.” In the storyline, Jameson, a college professor, is a 2,000-year-old man who hadn’t aged since agelessness was stowed upon him by an ancient alchemist. His co-worker discovered Jamison’s agelessness and asked if he could help him live longer. I won’t reveal any more of the story line, but Jameson reveals that living 2,000 years has its pitfalls.
So, that got me wondering if there are people who believe in immortality. It turns out that there is at least one person believes immortality is not only possible but will happen sometime in this century.
According to an online article in The Sun, futurologist Dr. Ian Pearson believes that humans are very close to achieving immortality. Pearson predicts that by the year 2050, humans will have the ability to at least have their brains live forever.
He told the Sun that there are several different ways we could live forever. He suggested that biotechnologies and medicine might be able to be used to renew the body and rejuvenate it. “No one wants to live forever at 95 years old, but you could rejuvenate the body to 29 or 30, you might want to do that,” he told the Sun.
Most likely, though, he believes brains could be connected to robots. “The mind will basically be in the cloud, and be able to use any android that you feel like to inhabit the real world,” Pearson told the Sun.
If you’re not rich, don’t expect immortality right away. Pearson said initially the first brain-to-machine links will cost millions of dollars and will only be available to the rich and famous. By 2060, he predicts working and middle-class people will be able to afford achieving immortality; and by 2070, it will be available to low-income people.
Pearson’s theories are certainly interesting. As technology keeps improving, no one knows for sure what is in store in the next 50 years. Will there be cures for cancer and other diseases? Will there be immortality?
There will be opposition to mortality efforts. Besides the ethical and religious questions, some believe that living forever could be extremely boring, because there would be no incentive to accomplish anything.
I know that I’m not going to be around in 2050, so I won’t be able to see if Pearson’s predictions come true. I do know, like many of you, that I have enjoyed my life, even though aging takes a toll on us. My friend, Jack Perko, and I sometimes joke about how bodies are like used cars and need replacement parts.
It also saddens me to learn that some of my good high school friends have passed away. I am in my 70s and hopefully I have a few more good years left, barring any diseases, or an accident.
Depending on what report you read, the life expectancy for Americans is 80 years. I have a brother who will turn 81 in April. Some of my aunts and uncles lived until their 90s.
Both of my parents died in their 60s. Both were heavy smokers, and my father worked in coal mines and steel mills, which certainly could have affected his health.
Even at present, technology has come a long way in helping us live longer. Potentially fatal illnesses can now be treated. Complicated surgeries in the past have become more routine now.
I know that I won’t reach immortality or live for 2,000 years, but I have been happy with my life.