It is an immutable and overriding force of humanity and indeed all forms of life to live and reproduce. Life brings forth more life and becomes ever more interested in preserving itself as it develops and prolonging the period where an object can be considered alive. And now new research has started slowly closing the door on death forever. Will we become immortal in our own lifetimes? How about in two years?
Science fiction has often dealt with the concept of immortality where those who achieve it are either burdened by their loss of the ability to die or are enlightened and forever filled with a wisdom beyond mere life and death to deal only with concepts far beyond the human spirit. And while these concepts are often dealt with in a way that make them seem like a distant fantasy, the work of scientists in Moscow State University claim to be standing at the threshold of learning this process even today, ready to step forward into a brave new world where we will no longer age.
Of course there is a huge difference between remaining perpetually young and living forever; after all, there are several other ways to shed off this mortal coil. But the efforts of Professor Vladimir Skulachev suggest we may have the technology to take the next step into perpetual youth. Skulachev’s efforts may sound like an outlandish claim by a fringe scientist, but his discovery of an anti-aging pill have actually been supported by an international board of scientists and such names as Dr. Gunter Blobel, recipient of the Nobel Prize in 1999.
So what would a world of agelessness be like? What if we could live as 70 year olds as though we were still in our 30’s? And what upper end is there to our biological lives before we eventually suffer a degenerative breakdown that is simply irreversible? Perhaps in the near future these questions will be answered.
And what life is awaiting us if we enjoy immortality? It seems though a world where immortality is a possibility is by no means a world without problems, the creation of such a drug could bring about a very real power on our planet. Imagine a world where everyone is suffering a fatal and terminal disease. The only treatment to the disease is a drug that a company inevitably has a monopoly on. Suddenly, this company would have power over all people on Earth to a limited degree. Its CEOs would essentially decide who aged and who remained young forever. The process could create a power surge in the corporate sector that even the world’s governments would have difficulty combating. Meanwhile, the population increase would cause space and resource consumption to dwindle ever quicker. Would this ultimately bring about the deaths of millions quicker?
And are nightmare scenarios such as these reason enough to halt the production of something mankind has scoured the earth for over the course of a thousand years? Perhaps the world will find with its ample time and superior experience ways to improve life for us even now.
But is two years too soon? Are we ready for this new technology? And how will our culture change if everyone in the world realizes they have all the time in the world to waste?