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Aging and Immortality

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The average human lifespan is ever increasing and has been since our beginnings. On an individual basis, longevity depends on the genes one has inherited and the environment in which one lives. Luckily, genes are getting better with each passing year and the environment in which we live that includes our ever-improving healthcare practices is also on the up-and-up.
In the past [about 2000 years ago] the average lifespan was only about 20 years of age (Klein, Bruce). This is tough for some to swallow as the modern mid-life crisis doesn't even occur until the early-forties. In the year 1800 the average global lifespan was still only around 25 years old because advancements in health had just started to be working in the favor of prolonging human life. As with things like technology, the time period between 1800-present has seen exponential progress in life longevity. The average standard-of-living has risen from the equivalent of roughing it in log cabins to the reality of a microwave cooking things like baked potatoes in under 5 minutes (not to say that those potatoes are healthier, but undoubtedly the elbow greece required has diminished).
Many people believe that lifespan will hit a ceiling and cease to continue climbing. The problem with this is that there is no evidence to support this theory. The only credence we can give it is that the body is not made for eternal use so there has to be some limit. 40 years ago the popular notion was that 110/120 was the highest age possible. Then a woman made it to 122. The new theories arbitrarily say the cap will come at 150 (Klein, Bruce).
We can only hope that they find better ways to elongate the more comfortable years of life as opposed to extending life at the end.
Thus far Japan leads the way. The average life expectancy for the country is 82.1, and the island of Okinawa has the world's highest concentration of centenarians (people over 100). The world average (2002) was 65 for men and 70 for women. According to worldlifeexpectancy.com, Angola has the lowest average lifespan at just 37.9. Different amount of hormones are believed to be the reason women live longer than men.

Klein, Bruce. "Human Lifespan: Is There A Limit?." Immortality Institute - Advocacy & Research For Unlimited Lifespans. 17 Jan. 2003. 16 Mar. 2009 .

"Life expectancy to soar." BBC NEWS. 9 May 2002. 16 Mar. 2009 .

Oeppen, Jim, and James Vaupel. "DEMOGRAPHY: Enhanced: Broken Limits to Life Expectancy." Science/AAAS. 10 May 2002. 16 Mar. 2009 .


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