Birth, old age, sickness and death are a natural law and a basic rule of the universe. Although the expectation for immortality has been uninterrupted since ancient times, many emperors have done a lot of work and hard work for immortality, but in the end they cannot escape the fate of death. .
From a scientific point of view, immortality is impossible to achieve. The law of entropy increase tells us that the entropy value of anything has been increasing since the day it was born. Even the vast universe itself cannot exist forever. There will be a day of dying.
There is no immortality in such a great space as the universe, let alone a small life. For us, immortality is just a beautiful fantasy. The scientific spirit tells us that what mankind should strive for is how to continuously extend their lifespan. The average life expectancy of human beings has been increasing since ancient times. It should be understood that the average life expectancy of people in ancient times was very low, only about 50 years old.
As human beings enter the age of science and technology, with the help of science and technology, the average life expectancy of human beings is also increasing. Take my country as an example. According to the latest report, the average life expectancy in my country is 77.3 years old, which is more than 20 years higher than that of the ancients. year old.
Of course, human beings are not satisfied with the current life span. We must know that in nature, although human beings are intelligent life and form an intelligent civilization, from the point of view of life span, human life span is actually not high in the biological world. It can be regarded as an intermediate level, and there are many animals that live longer than humans. Many animals have an average life span of several hundred years, which is very enviable to us.
Although the length of life span will be affected by the environment, diet, etc., from a scientific point of view, it is the theoretical life limit of organisms that has the greatest impact. If the theoretical life span of a creature is extremely long, then the average life span of this creature will generally be longer than that of other creatures. So what is the theoretical life span of human beings? Scientists thought of three exploration methods.
The first method is to speculate from the growth period of mammals. Humans are also mammals in nature, and every mammal has a growth period, which is related to the lifespan of the animal to a certain extent. Scientists have found through research that the life span of most mammals is 5-7 times that of the growth period. According to this law, the theoretical life span of humans is calculated to be 150-170 years.
The second method is to calculate according to the time of sexual maturity of mammals. Generally, the life span of mammals is 8-10 times that of sexual maturity, and human sexual maturity is about 14-15 years old. Therefore, the limit life span of humans should be 140. -Between 150 years old.
The third method is to calculate by Hayflick limit. This method is to calculate from the aspect of cell division. We all know that the human body is composed of a large number of cells. The division and renewal of cells maintains human life. When cell division does not continue, human life will come to an end.
According to the research of scientists, the number of human cell divisions is about 50 times, and each cycle is about 2.5 years. According to this law, the theoretical limit life span of human beings is calculated to be 125 years. Whether these three methods are scientifically correct for the calculation of the theoretical extreme life span of human beings, there is currently no definite answer. The longest human life span that has been verified in modern times is 122 years old. It is from Yana Kalmant from France. No one has broken this lifespan record.
If only from these recorded research in modern times, the limit of human life has not escaped the scope of the above three methods. But if the relevant records are extended to the entire history of human civilization, the situation will be different. In many unhistorical records, the life span of many ancients has exceeded the life expectancy limit inferred by the above three methods.
Take ancient my country as an example, there are four people with longevity recorded in history. The first is Peng Zu, who is said to have lived more than 800 years; the second is Zhang Sanfeng, the ancestor of the Wudang School in Jin Yong’s martial arts novels. In history, there was indeed Zhang Sanfeng, who later became a monk and became a Taoist priest. According to the records of Ming History, Zhang Sanfeng had a healthy life and lived as long as 218 years. When Zhu Yuanzhang established the Ming Dynasty, Zhang Sanfeng was already 121 years old.
The third is Chen Tu. According to the records of the “Qi Tai Ming Zhi” of Fujian Province, there is an old man named Chen Tu who has lived through four dynasties and lived 443 years; the fourth is the monk Hui Zhao, who was in the “History The Chronicles of Birth and Death of High Ranks, the Biography of Celebrities in Past Dynasties, and the Biography of Song Gaoseng clearly record a monk named Hui Zhao who lived to be 290 years old; the last dynasty of our country, the Qing Dynasty, also recorded a A long-lived old man named Li Qingyuan, he basically experienced the entire history of the Qing Dynasty, lived 257 years old.
If the longevity of these historically recorded people is true, then the theoretical limit of human lifespan calculated by modern scientists through three methods may be imperfect. In fact, some scientists have also put forward their own views on the theoretical limit of human life span. For example, in 2015, British biogerontologist Aubrey de Gray also proposed that the limit of human life span is 1,000 years. New conjecture.
If the theoretical life expectancy limit of human beings is 1,000 years, then why are there only more than 100 years left now, and where are the other more than 800 years old? Aubrey de Gray put forward the conjecture that the theoretical limit of human life is 1,000 years old. It is not a completely unfounded speculation, but a conclusion drawn after studying various factors that affect human life.
So what are the factors that affect human life span? From a microscopic point of view, scientists have now found an important factor, that is, the continuous shortening of telomeres. Telomeres are a small piece of DNA-protein complex that exists at the end of the linear chromosomes of eukaryotic cells. Its role is to protect The ends of chromosomes are protected from melting and degeneration, and DNA is prevented from shedding during cell division.
Telomeres will continue to shorten with each cell division. When it is shortened to a certain extent, human life will come to an end. If the speed of telomeres can be slowed down significantly, then in theory human lifespan can also be greatly increased, or we can reactivate the shortened telomeres to the infant state, restore cell division, and achieve the purpose of increasing lifespan. .
So is the continuous shortening of this telomere the only factor that affects lifespan? Scientists believe that this is not the case after research. There may be many factors that affect human life. The shortening of telomeres is only one of the more important factors, and there are other factors that also affect the length of life.
If we can find the reasons for these factors that affect human lifespan, and continue to repair these factors through scientific and technological means, perhaps we can increase the theoretical lifespan of humans to 1,000 years, then can such an ideal be achieved? The power of science and technology is infinite. In the life of science, we have been exploring the mysteries of life and have achieved good results.
I believe that as long as we continue to move forward in the direction of science, it will not be difficult for humans to reach 1,000 years of life in the near future. Perhaps in the eyes of many people, we are very satisfied to be able to live to 1,000 years old, and human civilization will also reach a new height at that time.
But if we are from the perspective of the universe, 1000 years old is actually a very short life span. This life span also cannot allow us to go on a long interstellar journey. We must know that every interstellar journey may take more than thousands of years. .
Perhaps in the infinite future, humans will find an alternative way of immortality, such as digitizing consciousness and realizing the downloading and transferring of consciousness, so that in theory, the immortality of consciousness can be realized, thereby realizing the alternative immortality of human beings. This may make the meaning of life very light, but for interstellar travel, it undoubtedly has huge benefits, and it is also of great significance for mankind to explore the vastness of the universe.