The Elixir of Youth

To be clear, there is no such potion or thing that will grant immortality and the cure of all diseases. I’m sorry to say, mortality is here to stay. But why so much research on aging and how to stop it? And what about cancer research? Even if cancer were completely cured, wouldn’t we just die of something else?

Scientists put the current maximum age at 125 or so, interestingly, very close to what God said in Genesis 6:3, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh; his days shall be 120 years.” Scientists also think that if biological aging could be stopped or slowed down, humans might live to 140.

So what is biological aging? For one, every time a cell divides (and they are constantly dividing because of usual “wear and tear”), a specific section of their DNA, called the telomere, gets shorter. It is like an internal odometer. When it gets too short, no more cell division. Other mechanisms of aging fall into the general category of accumulating “debris” within and outside cells, which interfere with function and self-renewal. It has also been shown in animals that when senescent (old and non-functional) cells are removed, the animal becomes “younger” temporarily.

Scientists aren’t the only ones trying to find a cure for aging. Just type, “stop aging” in the web browser search window. I got “About 333,000,000 results in 0.54 seconds” using a certain search engine that starts with G. With technology and so much information instantly available, it’s easy to become a little too preoccupied with trying to live as long as possible.

There is an illusion that we can determine how long we will live. Can we really control our environment and other people, as well as how our bodies respond to various interventions? We would be no more successful than predicting the stock market. But we do have total control over how we live out each day. I say we stop worrying so much about how to live longer, and focus more on how we live each day. (by the way, that glowing elixir I drank didn’t do a thing)

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

-Jesus Christ (Matthew 22:37-39)

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