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Do you think that in the future, medical science will be able to allow people to live...

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vikas1802 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 2) Honors

Posted November 29, 2010 at 1:22 AM via web

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Do you think that in the future, medical science will be able to allow people to live forever?

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 2, 2010 at 5:23 AM (Answer #2)

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I think what we need to find an answer to is whether should medical science make people live forever. As we have seen, changes in medical science have been able to extend human life a lot. We now live longer and are protected from a majority of ailments that humans in the past would have died of.

It is possible, with improving technologies that humans do not die in the future. But what would the impact of such a technology be on us. If humans do not die, there would be no new humans born, as that would lead to an unsustainable growth in population.

And I am sure that the birth of new organisms is essential for the development of a species. A situation where humans do not die would correspond to the ultimate state of human development with no improvement possible. Would one want that?

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 2, 2010 at 5:23 AM (Answer #2)

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I think what we need to find an answer to is whether should medical science make people live forever. As we have seen, changes in medical science have been able to extend human life a lot. We now live longer and are protected from a majority of ailments that humans in the past would have died of.

It is possible, with improving technologies that humans do not die in the future. But what would the impact of such a technology be on us. If humans do not die, there would be no new humans born, as that would lead to an unsustainable growth in population.

And I am sure that the birth of new organisms is essential for the development of a species. A situation where humans do not die would correspond to the ultimate state of human development with no improvement possible. Would one want that?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 10, 2010 at 8:35 PM (Answer #3)

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There's no way -- I just do not think it will ever be possible.  Everything in nature succumbs to entropy at some point and I see no way that the human body will ever escape from that fact.

Science has made a great deal of progress in fighting various illnesses, but we still only make incremental advances in life expectancy.  We are only able to prolong life a little bit, relatively speaking and so I do not see any way that science will ever achieve such a fundamental change.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted December 29, 2010 at 1:58 PM (Answer #3)

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The human body is such an extreme and precise component of life, that I cannot imagine science discovering ways to make each component of the human body immortal. Parts wear out, and I'm not sure that science can do much about that. Is it possible that science makes adjustments and replacement parts-perhaps, but then I wonder if these adaptations would really be "human."

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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted December 29, 2010 at 2:06 PM (Answer #4)

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If science can figure out how to allow cells to replicate themselves indefinitely, then there is the possiblility that life spans can be extended enormously. However, it seems like that as parts wear out it would be like applying a band-aid on an old structure. Eventually, everything would need to be replaced. After awhile, how human would the person feel? Surgeries would need to be done often. Another problem would be that we would run out of room for everyone on Earth. Unless we develop colonies on the moon or Mars, where would everyone live? I also think that people tend to sabotage the body they were given with drugs, alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy diets. Therefore, human nature would prevent humans from living forever.

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boblawrence | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted October 10, 2011 at 9:59 AM (Answer #4)

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Medical Science will not be able to conquer all of the diseases and deterioration that the human body is susceptible to.  For example, degenerative arthritis is a result of ordinary wear and tear on the joints from normal daily activities.  Yes, we can replace joints with artificial hardware, yet these replacements have a finite life themselves.  Eventually, despite all medicine might have to offer, organs will deteriorate with age and wear.

Cancer is the second most common cause of death over cardiovascular disease.  There are so many types of cancer involving so many tissues in the body.  Medical science has made excellent progress in curing some cancers as lymphoma, but has utterly failed to stop the relentless path to death for patients stricken with pancreatic cancer.

Given the variety of ways in which the body can deteriorate and die, all of which increase with age, it is unimaginable that medical science could prolong life expectancy more than a few years over what we enjoy today.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM (Answer #5)

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Based on all of the cautionary tales that I have read, I don't think that it would be good for people to live forever. Regardless of the physical aspects, the emotional toll of living longer than other humans would be great, and if everyone lived forever that would be the end of advancement of civilization I think.

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