Pleasant News

Back in March of last year I noted a hopeful milestone. The Methuselah Mouse Prize had passed the million dollar mark. Ten months later I'm happy to report that the prize fund now stands at 3.23 million.

Also, they've spiffed up their website, adding some attractive new features. If you're so inclined, I would urge you to click on over and check it out.

Aubrey de Grey's place has also had a makeover, to good effect.

While I'm on the subject of longer and healthier lives, let me point you toward this thoughtful essay by Jay Fox. He articulates a number of thoughts which I've had myself, though my own version is considerably less well organized.

Here are just a few of his points that I agree with wholeheartedly...

Perhaps it's a weak imagination that thinks that talk of 1,000-year lifespans, or even one million year lifespans, is somehow treading into God's territory. God has the monopoly on Eternal Life, and nothing Man could ever attempt to do will obviate this. You see, there is a very fundamental difference between immortality and Eternal Life...

Immortality literally means something along the lines of "without physical death". An immortal is unable to die a physical death, and perhaps we should clarify what Aubrey de Grey's research aims for: an end to aging.

Aubrey de Grey is not talking about making us both unaging and completely indestructible. A nuclear bomb, a bullet, or even just a speeding car can all still kill an unaging person...

Immortality is frequently confused with spiritual eternal life, but we must make the distinction: Eternal Life is a spiritual blessing. Eternal life is to the spirit or soul as immortality is to the body...

The point is, no matter how big of a number you can think of, it's no closer to infinity than the number one...for every whole number N, there are infinitely many whole numbers larger than N. This rule implies that 2, 17, and the number of possible human life experiences are all equally distant from infinity.

No period of mortal time, whether it be a second, a day, a year, a century, a millenium, a million years, a trillion years, or a googolplex of years, would be any closer to Eternity than any other period of time.

In this sense, attempts to live longer are definitely not attempts to attain Eternal Life. To reach that route, one must take the spiritual path, or transcend this universe entirely. Attempts to live longer are merely that: attempts to live longer...

In that sense, seeking immortality is not even in the same ballpark as seeking eternal life. They are two very different goals...

posted by Justin on 01.13.06 at 01:47 PM


Next up: the wood burning car.

Beck   ·  January 13, 2006 3:53 PM

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