Essays on Infinite Lifespans
Robert A. Freitas Jr.
they all appear possible in theory. By the time our molecular
manufacturing capability progresses to the degree necessary
to begin building medical nanorobots, probably in the next
1020 years, we will have good designs for cell repair devices.
The net effect of these interventions will be the continuing
arrest of all biological aging, along with the reduction of cur-
rent biological age to whatever new biological age is deemed
desirable by the patient, severing forever the link between
calendar time and biological health. These interventions may
become commonplace, several decades from today.
Using annual checkups and cleanouts, and some occasional
major repairs, your biological age could be restored once a
year to the more or less constant physiological age that you
select. I see little reason not to go for optimal youth though
trying to maintain your body at the ideal physiological age
of 10 years old might be difficult and undesirable for other
reasons. A rollback to the robust physiology of your late teens
or early twenties would be easier to maintain and much more
fun. That would push your Expected Age at Death up to
around 700900 calendar years. You might still eventually
die of accidental causes, but youll live ten times longer than
you do now.
How far can we go with this? Well, if we can eliminate 99%
of all medically preventable conditions that lead to natural
death , your healthy life span, or health span, should
increase to about 1100 years. It may be that youll find it hard
to coax more than a millennium or two out of your original
biological body, because deaths from suicides and accidents
have remained stubbornly high for the last 100 years, falling
by only one-third during that time. But our final victory over
the scourge of natural biological death, which we shall achieve
later in this century, should extend the health span of normal
human beings by at least ten- or twenty-fold beyond its cur-
rent maximum length.