03
Oct
09

Your kids will live to be 100

hourglassThe BBC reports that a study in The Lancet says that in the rich countries (France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the USA, Canada, Japan, and other countries with long life) babies born after 2000 have about a 50% chance of living to 100 or more. The other good news side of this is that it appears that the elders will also suffer less from the debilitation of old age. They’ll likely be in better physical and mental shape that prior generations. Professor Kaare Christensen, of the Danish Ageing Research Centre at the University of Southern Denmark says:

“The linear increase in record life expectancy for more than 165 years does not suggest a looming limit to human lifespan.

“If life expectancy were approaching a limit, some deceleration of progress would probably occur.”

I don’t know whether or not that projection takes into account the scientific discipline of geroscience (The Buck Institute’s definition: “Geroscience focuses on the intersection of normal aging and age-related disease. Geroscience at the Buck Institute includes molecular genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, chemical biology, cancer biology, Alzheimer’s disease research, endocrinology, invertebrate aging, nutrition, bioenergetics, Parkinson’s disease research, molecular epidemiology, Huntington’s disease research, ischemia (stroke), proteomics, human embryonic stem cells, genomic stability and statistics”), but full throttle anti-aging research is expected by some to radically extend lifespan in this century.

So now the scientists are talking about the “four ages of man”[kind]:

  • child
  • adult
  • young old age
  • old old age

Wow! Two old age categories. Isn’t one enough?

I hope this news causes people to step back and take a longer view of the consequences of what we’re doing now. If your kids or grandkids are going to be around until ~2110 then they will experience the full effects of climate change, population growth, energy transition, and global economics and politics. For many of us alive now, how that plays out is pretty much just speculation we’ll not be around to see. But for this forthcoming generation of centenarians it’s all going to get very real.

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