Some reflections on the history of growing older

With coffee cup in hand I sat down on the back porch last Saturday morning, and flipped on the radio.

It was 6 a.m. and the NPR station was broadcasting the news live from the BBC in London. I started to change the station but then heard a guy talking about the science of growing old so I listened in. It was a professor from some university in England, and he was saying that within just a few decades we will have made such extraordinary advances in medical science that doctors will be able to perform repairs, and exchange defective body parts with mechanical substitutes, as easily as a mechanic performs repairs and replaces defective parts on an automobile. The professor claimed that these medical breakthroughs will make it possible to live for centuries, maybe even for 1,000 years.

As I listened and sipped my coffee (I subscribe to the theory that coffee promotes healthy aging), good old Methuselah came to my mind. You will recall, Methuselah was the oldest man that ever lived. He only missed living to be 1,000 by 31 years, which got me to thinking that maybe that British professor is on to something. The Bible doesn