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We may already know how we will cure death—but should we?
Quartz ^ | March 29, 2014 | Christopher Mims

Posted on 03/31/2014 8:58:31 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

A pair of advocates—they do legitimate research too, but their ardor is so intense, it’s hard to call them scientists—believe that they will, within their lifetimes, make ours the first generation of humans to live forever.

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Their quest is elegantly laid out in The Immortalists, a new documentary making its way around the film festival circuit. The Immortalists follows the triumphs and tragedies of three years in the lives of William H. Andrews and Aubrey de Grey, two men who prove just as interesting as the work they’re doing. The Immortalists is really a film about death, not life, which is what makes it so fascinating.

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Here’s the trailer:

(VIDEO-AT-LINK)

The goal of Andrews and de Grey is not merely to extend life, but to actually reverse the aging process. “Once we are really truly repairing things as fast as they go wrong, game over,” de Grey says in the film. “We will have the ability to live indefinitely.”

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The mechanisms by which each man proposes to end death are radically different. Andrews suggests that in order to lengthen our lives, we may have only to extend the length of our telomeres, which are caps on the end of our DNA that shorten as we age, leading to the breakdown and demise of cells. This mechanism for extending life has the advantage of a potentially straightforward solution: If we can find a pill that lengthens telomeres, we’ve won. Andrews spends the duration of the film searching for one.

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De Grey, a theorist who comes across as the better scientist despite his lack of experience “at the bench”—scientist parlance for doing research in a lab—disagrees with Andrews. While his solution to mortality isn’t as clearly articulated in the film, it seems to line up with the strategy articulated by the dean of transhumanism (a movement that aims to remove the limitations on human existence), Ray Kurzweil: Stay alive until microscopic robots that swim through our bloodstream and physically repair our cells are invented, in 20 or so years.

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All this may sound crazy, but de Grey has convinced Silicon Valley luminaries such as PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel to give him millions of dollars to fund a full-fledged research foundation devoted to testing his ideas.

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What will we do when some portion of humanity refuses to die?

The science behind this sort of thing is extremely controversial—and so are its philosophical implications. It might seem premature to start talking about what we’ll do when the day of the undead finally arrives, but after spending two hours with Andrews and de Gray, I came out convinced that this is a conversation at least worth starting.

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David Alvarado, who made The Immortalists with Jason Sussberg, described a similar pivot to me after the film’s premier at South by Southwest. He said he went into this project feeling skeptical of the science behind life extension. Three years and countless hours of filming later, however, it struck him that, eventually, we will radically extend human lifespans—it’s just a question of when.

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If humans could live forever, it would transform our civilization in ways more profound than just about any other technological breakthrough. Lifelong marriage—already on the ropes in the age of ever-lengthening lifespans—would cease to make sense. Overpopulation could become an even more significant issue than it is now. The cost of war might have to be re-evaluated. We could live long enough for humans to reach other stars. Young people might find themselves unable to compete in an ossified job market, full of people with centuries of experience.

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The Immortalists poses a straightforward question: Why shouldn’t we cure death? But the answer to that question depends on who is asking it—any individual one of us, or all of us.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: dna; immortality; science
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1 posted on 03/31/2014 8:58:31 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Will we still get colds?


2 posted on 03/31/2014 9:00:49 PM PDT by ansel12 ((Libertarianism offers the transitory concepts and dialogue to move from conservatism, to liberalism)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It’s called “Receiving Jesus.” The only way you’re going to make it out of here alive.


3 posted on 03/31/2014 9:01:04 PM PDT by PapaNew
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Get back to me when they find a cure for cancer and the common cold.


4 posted on 03/31/2014 9:01:17 PM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Sure.

Right after that manned mission to Mars.


5 posted on 03/31/2014 9:02:52 PM PDT by sickoflibs (Obama : 'You can keep your doctor if you want. I never tell a lie ')
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I loved the clarity here

“We will have the ability to live indefinitely.”

WELL YES! Lifespan’s are rather indefinite.... by nature.

these guys probably communicate with the TRANS HUMANIST types Im guessing.


6 posted on 03/31/2014 9:03:54 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Lifelong marriage—already on the ropes in the age of ever-lengthening lifespans—would cease to make sense.

Says who?

7 posted on 03/31/2014 9:04:16 PM PDT by cmj328 (We live here.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

My life became eternal the moment I received Christ as my Savior.


8 posted on 03/31/2014 9:05:22 PM PDT by bimboeruption ("We Recognize No Sovereign But God, And No King But Jesus!" - John Adams & John Hancock)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Gonna need this technology as we have birth controlled, aborted and buggered ourselves out of new generations.


9 posted on 03/31/2014 9:06:34 PM PDT by Blue Collar Christian (Vote Democrat. Once you're OK with killing babies the rest is easy. <BCC><)
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: 2ndDivisionVet
"Stay alive until microscopic robots that swim through our bloodstream and physically repair our cells are invented, in 20 or so years. "

That's been my theory - some scrubbing bubbles to keep my arteries clear of buildup.

11 posted on 03/31/2014 9:07:17 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“I intend to live forever — or die trying.” — Groucho Marx


12 posted on 03/31/2014 9:08:23 PM PDT by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Read Hugh Howey’s “Wool” to see his vision of what bio-nano technology will bring us to.


13 posted on 03/31/2014 9:10:08 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius (www.wilsonharpbooks.com - Eclipse, the sequel to Bright Horizons is out! Get it now!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’ve got a better way. Take 3-D ultra-sounds of all organs.
3-D print them and replace before they wear out. Simple.


14 posted on 03/31/2014 9:13:02 PM PDT by Rennes Templar
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To: TBP
“I intend to live forever — or die trying.” — Groucho Marx

"Some people want to achieve immortality through their work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying." - Woody Allen

15 posted on 03/31/2014 9:18:28 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

we won’t every cure death as long as we are stuck with Obamacare, ......because what would all the Obamacare “death squads” do then?!


16 posted on 03/31/2014 9:20:14 PM PDT by faithhopecharity ((Brilliant, Profound Tag Line Goes Here, just as soon as I can think of one..))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Quackery.

Lead in to gold.

Snake oil.

Etc...

Nothing new under the sun and a sucker born very minute.


17 posted on 03/31/2014 9:22:22 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: Rennes Templar

Already in the works:

Hearts - the next stage of the 3D printing revolution: This medical miracle is shockingly close
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3117604/posts

3D-printed living human tissues one step closer
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3126289/posts

A new way to print cells could make it easier to 3D print organs
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3121529/posts

The first 3D printed organ — a liver — is expected in 2014
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3105585/posts


18 posted on 03/31/2014 9:26:46 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

nope.

extending teleomeres doesn’t guarantee the body has theability to repair damage as fast as it goes wrong. further it doesn’t solve cancer and it doesn’t solve deaths by murder, accident, natutal disasters, suicide, poisoninbgs, drownings, being crushed, etc.


19 posted on 03/31/2014 9:27:06 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: CaptainK

Depending on your physiology the common cold can already be prevented. BTDT.


20 posted on 03/31/2014 9:30:42 PM PDT by meatloaf (Impeach Obama. That's my New Year's resolution.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“They do not stop to consider that if men were immortal, they themselves would never have come into being.”

Galileo in Dialogues Concerning the Two Great World Systems


21 posted on 03/31/2014 9:33:34 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: PapaNew

“It’s called “Receiving Jesus.” The only way you’re going to make it out of here alive.”

Ahh, so you believe that the only way God will ever work is by reaching down out of heaven and picking you up? You believe that the creator of the universe, and every physical law in it, would rely entirely on supernatural rather than natural means to achieve his will? You believe it’s impossible that the creator may have fashioned this world in such a way that, if his creations followed the right path, they would help achieve his will?

Consider this - might it be possible that human beings living right, behaving morally and righteously, striving every day to more deeply understand creation, might be taking steps to bring about the kingdom of God mentioned in the bible? You know, the one without disease, or want, or aging and death? Do you think the big guy needs to come down here personally and lay every brick for the divine city, or do you think that maybe he created a world where, if we were worthy of it, we’d help build it into something really great in the end?

Heck, he may be a carpenter, but he still contracted out for the construction of the ark. Sometimes we wait for a hand from heaven, forgetting that someone gave us a pair of our own and that we can use them to help bring us to the right place.

Not trying to be confrontational, and not trying to challenge any of your beliefs or be flippant, just throwing some thoughts out for consideration.


22 posted on 03/31/2014 9:34:00 PM PDT by jameslalor
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

bttt


23 posted on 03/31/2014 9:35:46 PM PDT by vigilante2 (Re-elect nobody)
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To: Rennes Templar

“I’ve got a better way. Take 3-D ultra-sounds of all organs.
3-D print them and replace before they wear out. Simple.”

Where can I sign Congress up for brain replacements?


24 posted on 03/31/2014 9:35:52 PM PDT by jameslalor
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To: jameslalor

How familiar are you, do you think, with Biblical Theology?


25 posted on 03/31/2014 9:46:14 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Who the hell would even want to live forever?
Does the word boredom enter into their thinking?
God gave every man and woman (every living creature on earth) a piece of time to make the most and the best of.
Most people I have ever heard of; or known, needed to die and get out of the way, including me.
My eternal life will (or not) be granted through the grace of the Lord Jesus and God Almighty, no mere human can even think to give me that.


26 posted on 03/31/2014 9:46:32 PM PDT by 5th MEB (Progressives in the open; --- FIRE FOR EFFECT!!)
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To: jameslalor

Technically you may be correct. God has given us the brains and the will to conquer or create almost anything, time permitting. However, the book of our history has been written already...and it looks like we fail miserably (I cheated and read ahead). I guess we do get to live in a perfect world, but it won’t be one of our doing. Hey, we’re people, we mess up. That’s what we do.


27 posted on 03/31/2014 9:52:14 PM PDT by Imnidiot (This space for Rent)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Nobody has lived forever yet.


28 posted on 03/31/2014 9:57:44 PM PDT by PistolPaknMama
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To: Paladin2

Bloodstream robot-induced psychosis.


29 posted on 03/31/2014 9:58:48 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: jameslalor
Well, God's way was to pay the price for us when Jesus died on the cross. So we're saved from death by grace. But there's no work around to our bodies wearing out becasue they are tainted with sin. But when you receive Jesus you are born again and given a new spirit from God that will never die.

We can choose what we do now in these temporary bodies and whether we choose Jesus determines where our spirits go after our body dies. But after our bodies die we have no control over what happens to our spirit.

If "living right" could save us, then Jesus wouldn't have had to die. Jesus is the only one to have lived without sin. He's the only person who ever lived who did not deserve to die, but he died for us so that we, who deserve to die don't have to.

30 posted on 03/31/2014 9:58:52 PM PDT by PapaNew
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To: jameslalor

I have considered your argument on more than one occasion, the key component of what you are looking for is “worthy of it”. You be sure to let me know when that happens; or it looks to be even close, won’t you?
No I don’t expect God to come down here and pluck me up to eternal bliss or happiness, that is something I will have to work long and hard for with my own hands and deeds.
You are right; God does sub-contract out some of His jobs here on earth, but I think for the eternity part of the project you are going to have to go back to the “PRIME CONTRACTOR”.


31 posted on 03/31/2014 10:00:55 PM PDT by 5th MEB (Progressives in the open; --- FIRE FOR EFFECT!!)
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To: jameslalor

This is a fallen world. Eternal life is not possible in this realm.


32 posted on 03/31/2014 10:02:42 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: PistolPaknMama

If I discovered the secret to living forever, I would keep it a secret from the world except a tiny close-knit group


33 posted on 03/31/2014 10:03:08 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I enjoy my life, but I have zero interest in living forever. To do what exactly? . I procrastinate enough already. The natural order of life and purposeful living as we now know it will be destroyed by the tinkerings of scientists.


34 posted on 03/31/2014 10:03:27 PM PDT by lee martell
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We will kill ourselves before then through war or liberalism. And if not, the machines will be the reason we die.

Laws could be passed mandating no one live past 150,-After that, the machines (maybe even passed from mother to child) inside you from birth will be programmed to kill you.

A terrorist or foreign government hijacks a satellite and programs nano machines to kill everyone in a country.

someone creates a program that allows you to use your wifi signal to turn off your neighbor's nano machines, or get them to tear up his insides...

Catching a 'virus' from the computer may make your brain shut down, or cause you to kill your family, or blow up a bridge...

35 posted on 03/31/2014 10:05:12 PM PDT by Captainpaintball
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To: lee martell

“To do what exactly?”

Living ‘forever’ might be the only way to get back all that the govt stole from me and many others in FICA taxes.


36 posted on 03/31/2014 10:08:23 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders)
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To: PistolPaknMama

Did you forget somebody?

37 posted on 03/31/2014 10:10:56 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Revelation 9:6

And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.
38 posted on 03/31/2014 10:14:26 PM PDT by Dallas59 (Obama: The first "White Black" President.)
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To: 5th MEB

I have been married for 13 years. It isn’t forever, but sometimes it feels like it!


39 posted on 03/31/2014 10:39:32 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: GeronL

If I discovered the secret to living forever, I would keep it a secret from the world except a tiny close-knit group.

One of whom is a great investor!


40 posted on 03/31/2014 10:40:34 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Only way to cure death is be sinless....”Sin brings forth death”....we are born with a nature to sin.


41 posted on 03/31/2014 10:42:40 PM PDT by caww
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Only way to cure death is be sinless....”Sin brings forth death”....we are born with a nature to sin.


42 posted on 03/31/2014 10:42:40 PM PDT by caww
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To: jameslalor

um... the Resurrection is Eternal Life.

No other way.


43 posted on 03/31/2014 10:45:29 PM PDT by Gasshog (DemoKKKrats: Leaders of the Free Sh!t World)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
What will we do when some portion of humanity refuses to die?

Kill the bastards.

44 posted on 03/31/2014 10:53:10 PM PDT by Defiant (Let the Tea Party win, and we will declare peace on the American people and go home.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
We may already know how we will cure death—but should we?

Ah, yes - "should we?". The relentless drive of statists and liberals to convert personal choices into decisions to be made by the collective - or by a gaggle of Harvard-educated drones with law degrees who claim to speak for the rest of us, anyway.

First, the kind of longevity talked about by people like Aubrey DeGrey would not cure death - it would cure aging and the various physical afflictions which accompany aging. Modern medicine already wages an inefficient, piecemeal war on the symptoms which accompany aging - heart disease, cancer, glaucoma, etc. The longevity approach would target the root cause: senescence. Death would still occur because of illness, physical trauma or because people simply choose not to extend their lives.

Second, this topic is far too important a matter to be decided for us by the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama or their political descendants - screw the "should we" nonsense.
45 posted on 03/31/2014 10:56:52 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: MeshugeMikey

Eventually, everyone will have a fatal accident.
Statistical certainty.


46 posted on 03/31/2014 11:09:40 PM PDT by Kozak ("It may be dangerous to be America's enemy, but to be America's friend is fatal" Henry Kissinger)
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To: cmj328

Sez me.


47 posted on 03/31/2014 11:11:34 PM PDT by Aria ( 2008 & 2012 weren't elections - they were coup d'etats.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Can they cure getting run over by a freight train.


48 posted on 03/31/2014 11:13:28 PM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: PistolPaknMama

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.


49 posted on 03/31/2014 11:22:17 PM PDT by Hoosier-Daddy ( "It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of ingtheir political choices.")
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To: jameslalor

The Second Death as St. Augustine defines it, is living in an immortal passible body. Hell for short. I’m with St. Augustine on this one, avoid the Second Death, at all costs.

As my Christian brethren are pointing out here, the only way to avoid the Second Death is by accepting the redemption offered by the one Mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ. These winners will receive an immortal glorified body. No more tears, Eternal bliss with the Blessed Trinity, an endless supply of fruit, great golf courses, etc...

Mathematically, repairing the 37 trillion or so cells in the human body one by one is not feasible. However, even more dire is the fact that the microbes living in the human body outnumber the human cells 10:1. I suppose if these machines could repair 100 cells per hour, you would keep pace with the destruction over a course of 42 million years.

But it does make for great movie plots.


50 posted on 03/31/2014 11:28:26 PM PDT by blackpacific
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