Global life expectancy has increased exponentially ever since the turn of the 20th Century, and the trend shows absolutely no signs of abating. As a result, scientists are speculating as to whether there is any biological age cap that exists at all.
A long-running study, which observed the lifespans of the longest-living individuals in the US, UK, France and Japan ever since 1968, contrasts with an analysis published in 2016 that proposes a natural limit to the human lifespan.
One of the researchers conducting the study says that by extending trend lines, average life spans could continue to increase far into the foreseeable future. The analysis published last year proposed that average human life spans will level off once they reach approximately 115 years old, but even if such a plateau does occur, it’s expected to be temporary.
Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that if the numbers were analyzed back in 1980, the analysis would have shown the average human lifespan plateauing at 111 years. This means that although statistical analysis tends to suggest a leveling off at some point, the top figure continues to rise with the passage of time.
Presently, researchers believe that the average human lifespan could reach and even surpass 150 years sometime in the future. This will be driven by new scientific and medical breakthroughs.
The debate regarding whether there is some sort of biological ceiling to the human lifespan is currently raging on, with one side saying that the biological evidence of longer life spans outweighs the statistics. Even the researchers that believe in the existence of a ceiling admit that they can never rule out seeing it being broken.
One thing is for certain – as long as wealth increases and medical treatments improve, average life expectancies around the world will continue to rise. It remains to be seen whether we’ll collectively come up against a biological barrier at some point in the future.
To date, no-one has lived longer than Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment. She was 122 years old when she passed away back in 1997, and was the last person alive to have met artist Vincent Van Gogh. The oldest person alive today is Violet Brown, from Jamaica, who is 117 years old.
If someone had said three centuries ago that human beings might live until the age of 100 one day, they would have been called crazy, but the trend that has been observed ever since the Industrial Revolution shows no sign of slowing down. How long would you like to live for?
Content source: Science Alert.
Images (including cover) by Deposit Photos.