Man’s Quest for Everlasting Life
FROM earliest times, mankind has dreamed of living forever. Yet, that dream remains unfulfilled—no one has found a way to conquer death. Recently, though, medical research has renewed the hope that a dramatic extension of the human life span might really be possible. Consider what is being pursued in various fields of scientific study.
Biologists are experimenting with the enzyme telomerase in an attempt to overcome an apparent limit to the number of times that cells regenerate themselves. Scientists know that old, deteriorating cells are eliminated and replaced by new ones. In fact, most of the body is renewed several times during a person’s lifetime. If the process of renewal could be extended, researchers theorize, “the human body could regenerate itself for a very long time—even eternally.”
Therapeutic cloning, a controversial field of research, could theoretically provide patients with new and perfectly compatible livers, kidneys, or hearts for transplantation. Such organs would be cultivated using the patient’s own stem cells.
Researchers in nanotechnology foresee a time when doctors will introduce cell-size robots into the bloodstream to find and destroy cancer cells and harmful bacteria. Some believe that this field of science, along with gene therapies, will eventually allow the human body to sustain itself indefinitely.
Proponents of cryonics deep-freeze the bodies of those who have died. The idea is to preserve them until medical breakthroughs enable doctors to cure diseases, reverse the effects of aging, and restore both life and health to the dead. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry calls this concept “a present-day counterpart to the mummification of the ancient Egyptians.”
Man’s relentless quest for immortality shows how hard it is to accept the idea of an end to his existence. Is it really possible for mankind to attain everlasting life? What does the Bible say on this subject? The following article will provide the answers.