Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Can Science Help Us Live Forever?

"It’s not really a matter of living forever, it’s just a matter of not wanting to die." (Aubrey de Grey)

Dr. de Grey (photo at right) directs the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) project, in which he has defined seven causes of aging, all of which he thinks will be completely overcome soon. Furthermore, he insists that eternal youthfulness can be enjoyed, people living for centuries in a splendid balance of the life force just as if they were 20-25 years of age.

And de Grey's utopian vision isn't just for some distant future. Oh, no. The breakthroughs are going to start -- any minute now. Indeed, he thinks that the humans who will end up living for a thousand years are among us right now, perhaps people who are already past age 60.

Of course, de Grey's hopes to defy death are sheer fantasy. For not only have his theories and experiments failed over and again to produce the slightest movement towards anti-aging, they are based on an inescapably fatal flaw. Science, which is merely the study of God's creation, cannot be used as a weapon against His purposes. And it is God that has clearly decreed, "It is appointed unto men once to die, and then the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)

No one escapes.

However, here's the good news. Man can conquer death through resurrection. But that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ, accepting the sacrifice for sin that He provided by dying in our place on the cross.

Man's hope for eternal life cannot be found in de Grey's wishful thinking any more than it could in Ponce de Leon's mythical Fountain of Youth. Eternal life (of a grander quality than de Grey has ever dreamed) is found through the singular sacrifice of Jesus. "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water which I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14)

Michelangelo once wrote that "Death destroys a man, but the idea of death saves him." So true. The great artist understood that the inescapable reality of death provides the motivation to effectively prepare for it; specifically, by receiving Christ's atoning sacrifice in man's behalf. Jesus said "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die." (John 11:26)

I'm afraid that no matter what the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence attempt to do about it, death is going to come to Aubrey de Grey. And to you and me too. Therefore, instead of wishful thinking, science fiction, whistling through the graveyard, or any other distractions, men must face the hard fact which is death.

And in squarely facing it, make sure of your salvation from death through the triumph of Christ's resurrection.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you." (1 Peter 1:3-4).