Arthritic knees, bingo and viagra fuelled orgies are only some of the things you can look forward to if you’re lucky enough to reach old age. Once you hit the retirement village, there are no more rules. You can be rude, racist and sexually inappropriate because, well, you’ve earned it. You’ve adhered to strict social codes for long enough that you can now be the person you’ve always wanted to be, unconstrained by people’s opinions and hygiene expectations.
Sounds great right? How long do you get to enjoy this magical land of drugs and soft food? Well, previous research has suggested that the upper limit to how long humans live is 115 years old – so about until then…or so we thought.
Because science is essentially one long and expensive pissing match, a new study in Nature by McGill University, in Canada, comes to a completely different conclusion. The new research finds that there’s no reason to think there’s an upper limit to age and, if there is one, we haven’t reached it yet.
At the time of writing, the oldest person alive is Violet Brown, currently at the grand old age of 117 years. When asked about the reasons for making it to an age a Wizard would be proud of, Brown claimed that there is no secret formula to her long life, telling the Jamaica Gleaner: “Really and truly, when people ask what I eat and drink to live so long, I say to them that I eat everything, except pork and chicken, and I don’t drink rum and dem tings”.
The old person bothering scientists analysed the lifespans of the longest living people from the USA, UK, France and Japan since 1968, did some fancy number crunching stuff on it and found no top age limit.
The scientists from the previous research, aren’t having any of it!
In a letter included in the article, they still stand by their original value of 115 years concluding “Taken together, and in the absence of solid statistical underpinning of various possible future scenarios, we feel that our interpretation of the data as pointing towards a limit to human lifespan of about 115 years remains valid.”
Roughly translated to normal person words this means: “Your math is wrong and you should feel bad about annoying us with your rubbish article. Go back to doing something that isn’t as hard for you.”
The debate continues…