# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: How long can a person possibly live?  (Read 11115 times)

#### krool1969

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##### How long can a person possibly live?
« on: 26/11/2011 00:13:27 »
If aging could be stopped at say, age 25, and all causes of death except trauma eliminated how long would the average life span be in our modern society?

#### CliffordK

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##### How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #1 on: 26/11/2011 01:03:02 »
all causes of death except trauma eliminated

The oldest living people in recent history have been somewhere around 122 years old.

All causes of death eliminated?
Theoretically, one could live forever...  unless you are implying that people will go insane and the murder rate would go up!!!  Certainly one would also be concerned with vehicle safety and industrial safety.

One of the biggest issues with super-long-lifespans is the replacement population.  Say we determine that the earth can support about 10 billion people.  If everyone suddenly started living for 200 years, for example, we would have to severely curb the birth rate to keep under the 10 billion limit.

The problem becomes even more exaggerated if say we allow people to live for 1000 years, but require that women have babies before age 50.  A one child per couple policy might help, but there would be be a huge bubble of the aging current generation.

#### Don_1

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##### How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #2 on: 26/11/2011 02:45:39 »
Take a look at this thread http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=41893.0

If aging could be stopped at 25yrs and all causes of death (except trauma) eliminated, then we would not die under normal circumstances at all.

Perish the thought! Luckily I am over 25, so presumably I can snuff it at the appropriate time.

According to The Bible, there were some who lived for over 900 years! But God got pee'd off with them after such a long time, He decided to limit man's lifespan to 4 score years and 10. If you believe that, you must be religious, nuts or both.

Live for 900 years?!?!?! No thank you. Can you imagine listening to the lies of politicians for that long!!!??? It would drive you round the bend.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play with the traffic on the M25.*

*Since you are in the USA, I should explain, the M25 is the London Orbital motorway (freeway).
« Last Edit: 26/11/2011 02:49:12 by Don_1 »

#### krool1969

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##### How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #3 on: 06/12/2011 07:09:06 »
all causes of death except trauma eliminated

The oldest living people in recent history have been somewhere around 122 years old.

All causes of death eliminated?
Theoretically, one could live forever...  unless you are implying that people will go insane and the murder rate would go up!!!  Certainly one would also be concerned with vehicle safety and industrial safety.

One of the biggest issues with super-long-lifespans is the replacement population.  Say we determine that the earth can support about 10 billion people.  If everyone suddenly started living for 200 years, for example, we would have to severely curb the birth rate to keep under the 10 billion limit.

The problem becomes even more exaggerated if say we allow people to live for 1000 years, but require that women have babies before age 50.  A one child per couple policy might help, but there would be be a huge bubble of the aging current generation.

My reasoning is this: Every single day we all have a small chance of suffering a traumatic death, be it in an airplane crash, a car crash, or some other accident (or deliberate attack).

Some people meet this type of death very soon after birth. A friend in highschool was struck by a car and killed when she was 14. Other live a lot longer. Most people however live well beyond 60 years and meet death from some other cause than trauma. Call it an internal failure.

But if you live long enough your chance of suffering a fatal trauma reaches nearly 100% (According to chance it can NEVER truly reach 100%). Here's how it works mathematically: let's say your chance of suffering a fatal trauma in the next year is 1 in 20 million. Then in 2 years it's 1 in 10 million, in 4 years it'll be 1 in 5 million. in 64 years your chance of a traumatic death have claimed to 1 in 312500. In a little over 32000 years your chance of traumatic death is about 1 in 500. 32000 years might SEEM like a long life (it is compared to 70 years, but falls far short of living "forever". I remember the first time I saw Logan's Run (when I was about 12) I thought 30 years sounded like a nice long life. Not so now, less than a month from my 42nd birthday!

I'm not concerned here about population growth. Clearly reproduction would have to be tightly controlled to keep the population manageable, but perhaps we could spread to other planets. After all if you have a lifespan that is basically unlimited you could travel between the stars.

#### Nizzle

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##### How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #4 on: 06/12/2011 08:39:46 »
I'm not concerned here about population growth. Clearly reproduction would have to be tightly controlled to keep the population manageable, but perhaps we could spread to other planets. After all if you have a lifespan that is basically unlimited you could travel between the stars.

.. or die of starvation on the way, or exposure to intense radiation, or shot down by aliens ;)

#### Don_1

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##### How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #5 on: 06/12/2011 09:35:46 »
I'm not concerned here about population growth. Clearly reproduction would have to be tightly controlled to keep the population manageable, but perhaps we could spread to other planets. After all if you have a lifespan that is basically unlimited you could travel between the stars.

I see a planet has been discovered which could be the nearest thing to an Earth like planet yet. At a mere 600 light years away, as Nizzle has suggested, you'll need to pack a fair sized lunch box for the journey.

There may not be a 'drive thru' McAliens* on the way and if there is, who knows what the staff will be like......

*Other space food may not be available!!!

#### CliffordK

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##### How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #6 on: 06/12/2011 09:46:16 »
If you look up mortality on the WWW:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_causes_of_death_by_rate
(global, I think).

You can dump the diseases, and you get left with a list like the following (noting repeats in sub-letters).
 Code Cause Percent of deaths Deathsper 100,000 Male/100,000 Female/100,000 E Unintentional injuries 6.23 57 73.7 40.2 E.1 Road traffic accidents 2.09 19.1 27.8 10.4 E.2 Falls 0.69 6.3 7.5 5 E.3 Drowning 0.67 6.1 8.4 3.9 E.4 Poisoning 0.61 5.6 7.2 4 E.5 Fires 0.55 5 3.8 6.2 G Intentional injuries (Suicide, Violence, War, etc.) 2.84 26 37 14.9 G.1 Suicide 1.53 14 17.4 10.6 G.2 Violence 0.98 9 14.2 3.7 G.3 War 0.3 2.8 5 0.5 H Neuropsychiatric disorders 1.95 17.9 18.4 17.3 H.4 Alcohol use disorders 0.16 1.5 2.5 0.4 H.5 Drug use disorders 0.15 1.4 2.2 0.5 J Nutritional deficiencies 0.85 7.8 6.9 8.7 93.7

Anyway, that gives you a total of about 93.7 deaths / 100,000 person-years.

It is up to you to determine whether a neuropsychiatric disorder, suicide, and etc are disease states...  [xx(]

So...
Simply dividing 100,000/93.7 and you get an average global lifespan of about 1067 years

I assume if you found a similar list for the USA, or some of the European countries, the numbers would be even lower...  and thus a longer average lifespan.

#### CliffordK

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##### How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #7 on: 06/12/2011 10:14:55 »
I'm not concerned here about population growth. Clearly reproduction would have to be tightly controlled to keep the population manageable, but perhaps we could spread to other planets. After all if you have a lifespan that is basically unlimited you could travel between the stars.
.. or die of starvation on the way, or exposure to intense radiation, or shot down by aliens ;)

Keep in mind that we will quite possibly have a severe energy crisis within the next century or two, especially if we don't get our population growth under control.

Consider that the Saturn-V took about 4.5 Million lbs of fuel to send 3 men to the moon (not counting the energy expended in constructing the rocket).

Without doing the calculations, I believe that is more fuel than most people use in their lifetime.  Certainly if you add the cost of the rockets, and building the habitats, and etc, it would be prohibitively expensive to move large numbers of people to the Moon.

Likewise, it would be more expensive and take more energy to send people to Venus, Mars, or one of Saturn's moons.

Perhaps costs will come down in the future, but I would foresee that if we colonize the planets and moons of the solar system, it will be by sending small groups of colonists, from which new populations will be grown...

The billions of people on Earth will remain here.

If we do manage to send humans to Proxima Centauri, or Alpha Centauri, it will be a grueling trip, perhaps taking several centuries of flight time, or perhaps even thousands of years, and will stretch the trip resources to the limit, whether we send robots, eggs, or generations of people.  Such a trip will be more to satisfy curiosity than to move large numbers of people.

Consider the Voyager that has been chugging along since 1977, and traveled a total of about 16 light-hours. still short if its first light-day.  If it was heading to Proxima Centauri, estimates are that it would take about 73,000 years.  Yet, it will run out of power within a decade or so.

Sorry, I don't foresee Alien attacks before we get there.  However, certainly the Star Trek "Prime Directive" will be put to the test if we get there and find an inhabited planet.  I doubt that Alien life will be compatible with Earth life, so determining how to meld the life of colonists and aliens would mean complex decisions.

#### Nizzle

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##### How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #8 on: 06/12/2011 10:34:17 »
I doubt that Alien life will be compatible with Earth life, so determining how to meld the life of colonists and aliens would mean complex decisions.

Maybe our biochemistry is the only viable biochemistry in the universe and all alien lifeforms will closely resemble us (on a molecular scale of course)

Who knows? ;)

#### CliffordK

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##### How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #9 on: 06/12/2011 11:22:43 »
I doubt that Alien life will be compatible with Earth life, so determining how to meld the life of colonists and aliens would mean complex decisions.
Maybe our biochemistry is the only viable biochemistry in the universe and all alien lifeforms will closely resemble us (on a molecular scale of course)
Who knows? ;)
Possibly, especially if life was seeded from a previous supernova.

However, all life on Earth has a combination of 4 DNA Nucleotides, and 20 (or so) Amino Acids.

If the structure of life was the same, one might have some overlap of some of the simpler amino acids like glycine (NH3CH2COOH).  But, undoubtedly there would be differences with some of the more complex amino acids.

There would also likely be differences with at least some of the DNA nucleotides...  as well as the host of proteins in the cells.  What makes a toxin?

And, of course, there are the diseases...  which brought the War of the Worlds to an end.

#### krool1969

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##### Re: How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #10 on: 20/12/2011 04:13:40 »
If you look up mortality on the WWW:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_causes_of_death_by_rate
(global, I think).

You can dump the diseases, and you get left with a list like the following (noting repeats in sub-letters).
 Code Cause Percent of deaths Deathsper 100,000 Male/100,000 Female/100,000 E Unintentional injuries 6.23 57 73.7 40.2 E.1 Road traffic accidents 2.09 19.1 27.8 10.4 E.2 Falls 0.69 6.3 7.5 5 E.3 Drowning 0.67 6.1 8.4 3.9 E.4 Poisoning 0.61 5.6 7.2 4 E.5 Fires 0.55 5 3.8 6.2 G Intentional injuries (Suicide, Violence, War, etc.) 2.84 26 37 14.9 G.1 Suicide 1.53 14 17.4 10.6 G.2 Violence 0.98 9 14.2 3.7 G.3 War 0.3 2.8 5 0.5 H Neuropsychiatric disorders 1.95 17.9 18.4 17.3 H.4 Alcohol use disorders 0.16 1.5 2.5 0.4 H.5 Drug use disorders 0.15 1.4 2.2 0.5 J Nutritional deficiencies 0.85 7.8 6.9 8.7 93.7

Anyway, that gives you a total of about 93.7 deaths / 100,000 person-years.

It is up to you to determine whether a neuropsychiatric disorder, suicide, and etc are disease states...  [xx(]

So...
Simply dividing 100,000/93.7 and you get an average global lifespan of about 1067 years

I assume if you found a similar list for the USA, or some of the European countries, the numbers would be even lower...  and thus a longer average lifespan.

That's suprising! I thought average life span would be at least 10000 years. Is this just MVA's or other accidents as well?

#### CliffordK

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##### Re: How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #11 on: 20/12/2011 06:59:15 »
That's suprising! I thought average life span would be at least 10000 years. Is this just MVA's or other accidents as well?
You can see the list, my calculations, and the source.

On average 19 Road Traffic Accidents per 100,000 person-years.  Heavily weighted towards men.
The total number, 93.7 includes other deaths such as war, suicide, drug OD, etc.
As mentioned, I believe these were global statistics, and not just US/Europe statistics.
« Last Edit: 20/12/2011 07:02:37 by CliffordK »

#### Nizzle

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##### Re: How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #12 on: 20/12/2011 14:15:51 »
Keep in mind that we will quite possibly have a severe energy crisis within the next century or two, especially if we don't get our population growth under control.

Hmmm I don't know...

I have high hopes for ITER and DEMO.

Don't you?

#### CliffordK

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##### Re: How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #13 on: 20/12/2011 23:01:11 »
I've had high hopes for Fusion energy for the last 30 years.  But, so far it has been little more than hopes.

What is obvious is that the first couple of fusion plants will be extraordinarily expensive.  Perhaps the cost will come down.  While in theory they burn water, in reality they use quite rare fuels.  Will they compete with electric vehicles for power sources?  The fusion plants are the the ultimate for non-renewable fuels.

Even with about 50 years of nuclear fission plants, the overall quantity of energy they produce is still quite low compared to coal, oil, and natural gas.

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##### Re: How long can a person possibly live?
« Reply #13 on: 20/12/2011 23:01:11 »