Why doesn’t human society put immortality technology first?
Are you sure that humans have not put the study of immortality first? If not, why is the basic research support of biomedicine ranked first among all basic research expenditures and continues to increase?
If not, why eight of the Top 10 scientific research journals are related to biology and medicine (No. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)?
If not, why are the three major scientific journals called CNS? Cell, Nature, Science? Not called ANS (Atom)? Or ENS (Economics)?
These examples show that we have actually invested a lot in understanding our health and life, many of which are based on the continuous improvement of our lives.
In fact, human beings are constantly developing towards “immortality”, but “immortality” is not achieved overnight, it is accumulated bit by bit. Just like we are going to build a magnificent building, the highest floor of the building is the top floor called “Eternal Life”, which brings mankind a landscape full of imagination, and it can even be said to be one of the ultimate goals of mankind. So what should I do when I am building this building?
If you start to build the top layer from the beginning, you will only gain nothing, because it cannot be established without foundation. So how humans do:
Foundation repair: increase heat
Humans in the Stone Age are not very different from the wild orangutans and monkeys. They often face food shortages and insufficient energy intake, and they are often supplied by beasts. The use of fire not only allows humans to resist danger, but also greatly improves the absorption efficiency of food cooked by fire, which is equivalent to the same food but can provide more energy.
Human competition in the natural world has increased, and the quality of life and life span have also been extended. The use of fire has provided a good foundation for this building.
Piling: to ensure food stability
But even with the help of fire, human beings are still full of dangers in times and times. When the situation is good, there is plenty of food, but once the environment changes, they will fall into shortage and die in large numbers. Therefore, humans invented agriculture and animal husbandry, respectively domesticated wild plants and animals, established farms and pastures, so that they can provide stable grains and meat every year, greatly improving the survival rate.
More importantly, because of the emergence of agriculture and animal husbandry, mankind began to gather and release productivity, allowing more people to invest in non-food production, so that some people were released for research and innovation, such as the development of medicine. The stable supply of food has laid solid piles for the building.
Build the bottom: improve the sanitary environment
People living in groups established villages, developed medicine, technology, and even established cities and developed trade. At this time, human life is much better than the Stone Age, but human beings are still working on improving their own health and living environment. At this time, public health has developed.
For example, Rome has developed a complete public health system, including public baths, diversion canals, public toilets and a complex sewer system. In this way, the spread of pathogenic substances and the health of all named in the clustered cities have been greatly improved, the infection rate and mortality of residents have been greatly reduced, and the life span has been extended. The emergence of urban public health provides a good ground floor for this building.
Extending upward: controlling infectious diseases
After ensuring basic hygiene, mankind began to declare war on the worst enemy of life-infectious diseases. Infectious diseases have a huge impact on human life. The Black Death in the Middle Ages ravaged Europe and directly killed nearly half of the population. The smallpox brought by Europeans during the invasion of America almost wiped out the local natives.
Thanks to advances in biology and medicine, humans have discovered pathogenic microorganisms, invented various antibiotics, and made various vaccines. We have almost eliminated the most shocking diseases in history: smallpox, measles, and children. Paralysis, whooping cough, diphtheria, leprosy, schistosomiasis, etc. The most direct result is that human mortality has dropped rapidly in the last century, and more people can avoid deaths caused by infectious diseases in childhood and middle age and live longer. Controlling infectious diseases has allowed humans to continue to rise in the construction of this building.
Mid-level: Know yourself
While controlling infectious diseases, human beings understand that in order to continuously improve their health and life, they need to start from the most basic, that is, to understand themselves. Therefore, people started from the structure of DNA, understood genes, and even spent $3 billion to complete the Human Genome Project. Including many subjects related to life sciences: immunology, developmental biology, genomics, proteomics, neuroscience, medicine, etc., have been flourishing development, and the understanding of life and human beings is also constantly improving.
These understandings of the nature of life have established a solid middle level for this building.
Middle and high-level construction: chronic disease management
In modern times, we have already had a good control of infant mortality and disease mortality. We have also gained a higher understanding of life and human beings. Our attention to prolong life has begun to shift backward: for chronic diseases and old age Disease concern.
For example, the cancer we are most concerned about. Getting cancer at an early stage is basically a death sentence. Once discovered, the end of life is not far away. However, various medical advances, such as early cancer screening, more accurate diagnosis, precision medicine, etc., have greatly increased the 5-year survival rate of cancer in the past few decades. Now if cancer is detected early enough, there are many ways to deal with it, and gradually cancer will become a chronic disease for management.
The future of “immortality”
Therefore, it is not that we do not pursue immortal technology, on the contrary, the entire human history is a history that continuously improves the quality and length of life. From the Stone Age, the average life expectancy of humans was less than 20 years, and now most people can live past 70 years, and life expectancy is still increasing.
The continuous economic and technological development of our society has released more productivity for improving medicine, improving public health, developing more new medicines, and even exploring technological edges like human-computer interfaces. Mankind has always worked hard for “immortality,” but it is not accomplished overnight. It requires the development of society and science as a solid foundation.
The “immortality” at the top level is still far away, and humans are still advancing solidly layer by layer in this building.