Thursday, October 8, 2009

A big idea and a big beard..

One serious man, with one serious beard who I recently came across is a fascinating character called Aubrey de Grey. It was during one of my many sleepless nights when I happened upon It's Only a Theory, a TV show where scientists or those with theories come before a panel of judges who'll say whether or not their theory is credible.

Mr. de Grey's (although he might prefer Aubrey, or at least he did on the show) theory was that "the first person to live to 1,000 years has already been born"..Wow, I thought...He then gave what I believed to be very convincing arguments as to why this is true...the advances we have made from 60 years ago when life expectancy was about 40 to where we are now with life expectancy at a haughty 70 years + in some places. He believes that the advances we have had in "sickness prevention" (his research is not to keep you alive forever but to try keep you healthy whilst living) will increase exponentially and that we are living a lot longer now due to medical advances and the reduction of child mortality rates. Now, the the medical profession - of which I have absolutely no connection or knowledge of, I just watched this show and was gobsmacked - are turning their attention to medical techniques that will rejuvenate our biological age, roll the clock back as it were...if we have added 30 years in the last 60 years (and my figures may be wrong, I'll happily stand corrected, just lazily going from memory as I'm tired) then any sort of exponential growth will see us adding many more years in a short period of time giving rise to the idea that the first person who will live to 1,000 years is already born...

I believe the title of of Aubreys theory was "The Methuselah Theory" and after a quick google have found a video link to it here. I won't let you know whether or not the 3 judges thought his theory was valid but from where I stand (or sit rather) I really do think its possible and I agree with what Aubrey said. He is clearly a man of immense knowledge and clearly a man who likes his beards...As beards go that is one of the most impressive I have ever seen, so on every level, Mr. de Grey, you impress me very much...I don't know if I would like to live to 1,000 but to have the choice would be nice...what do you think? 1,000 years possible?

So, thats the big beard covered, now the big idea (although the following is a let down compared to living 1,000 years)..this idea is big I think..real big, in fact it could be so big I don't yet know how big it is or how big it may get, I think that the key thing to note though is that it is a big idea..The idea has kept me up for 2 days, full with excitement, anticipation and thoughts of how it might work and if it will work..It'll be an experiment of sorts but unfortunately I can't divulge anything yet - just watch this space..

So, again, will we live to 1,000? Is there already a person on the planet who will live to 1,000? And, would you like to live to 1,000? Or, who is the oldest person you know and how long do they have until they reach 1,000? Love to hear what you all think about this possibly life changing (or extending at least) theory...

EDIT: Since posting I've become even more interested in the whole thing and figured I'd do a google or two, here is a newspaper report about the show in question for more information.
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