Is there a limit to human lifespan?
Currently, a big controversial topic in the field is whether there is a limit to human lifespan. The longest lived human known to date is the French woman Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived to 122 years old and 5 months. Demographers and researchers argue whether there is a hard limit to human longevity. Amongst those who believe it is fixed, some argue the hard limit is around 120 years, while others argue it is around 150 years or more.
Below are outlined some of the most popular arguments in favour and against to this idea:
In favour: Human maximum lifespan is limited
- One of the main arguments in favour of a limit to human maximum lifespan is based on demographic studies. It is argued that, while the overall aging population has increased exponentially over the past decades, there has been no change to the total number of supercentenarians (over 110 years old) in the population, suggesting there is a limit to human lifespan.
Against: Human maximum lifespan is not limited
- One of the main arguments against the existence of a hard limit to human lifespan is based on evidence from animal models. A wide range of interventions have been shown to increase maximum lifespan in animal models (such as worms, flies, or mice), which are then used as examples of the plasticity of maximum lifespan across species.