The Questions of Aging

It is a fact of life that, barring medical conditions or accidents, people grow old and eventually take a dirt nap. There have been many efforts to try and find ways to stave off aging, and to find out what causes it in the first place.

There is a movement to upgrade ourselves with transhumanism, even to the point of living forever. (There are cautionary tales about regretful immortals who long for death.) It is a good thing to cure illnesses and counteract aging, no need for transhumanism.

People have tried to find the cause of aging for a very long time. There are many biological causes, and there is one spiritual cause.
Old Couple, Vladimir Makovsky, 1889
Those of us who believe the Bible know that aging and death entered into the world when Adam sinned. In Genesis 2:17, God told Adam that the day he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would surely die. People have said the Bible is wrong because Adam and Eve didn't die. However, the more literal translation is dying you shall die. The deterioration began and was passed down to everyone, physically and spiritually. Negative effects of all this have given my wife and me a rough couple of years.

One big problem for identifying and solving the aging question is that different signs manifest themselves in a variety of ways. DNA and other repair systems can only do so much. Cells have their limits, as do our immune systems. The lifespan limit may be genetic. More than that, epigenetics is involved. Aging it starts in our cells.

Who hasn’t dreamed what it might be like to live forever young? Over the centuries, many have sought a fountain of youth, a way to delay or escape the debilitating effects of aging and death. They’ve tried countless diets and chemicals. They’ve studied the oldest surviving people, looking for common threads. Yet even with the benefits of twenty-first-century science, the secret of eternal youth eludes us.

. . .

While the genetic revolution has improved our understanding of aging, we have learned that aging is a complicated process. It is predictable yet highly individualized. And it begins with innumerable events in molecules and cells throughout the body.

The entire article (including the audio version by my favorite reader) is found at "Why Do We Age?"