Royce Shook

3 months ago · 1 min. reading time · ~10 ·

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Life Span may also have increased

Life Span may also have increased

As I approach my 8th decade I am thinking a bit about lifespan. Lifespan refers to the maximum number of years that a species can live. It is a biological measure that is determined by the genetic makeup of the species.

While life expectancy and lifespan are related, they are not the same thing. It is possible for a population to have a relatively high life expectancy, but for the maximum lifespan of the species to be much lower. It is also possible for a population to have a relatively low life expectancy, but for the maximum lifespan of the species to be much higher.

It is important to note that while we can have a good idea of life expectancy, lifespan is not a fixed number and can vary depending on the factors such as genetics, environment, lifestyle and healthcare.

In summary, life expectancy is a measure of mortality and an estimate of how long someone can expect to live, while lifespan is the maximum number of years a species can live. Equating the two can lead to a misunderstanding of the reality and potential of human life.

The lifespan of humans is a complex concept that is influenced by a wide variety of factors, including genetics, environment, lifestyle, and access to healthcare. On average, the global life expectancy for humans is around 72 years, but there are individuals who live much longer, and some who die much earlier.

The maximum known lifespan for a human is 122 years and 164 days, which was achieved by French woman Jeanne Calment. However, this is an exceptional case, and it’s not a typical number for our lifespan.

There are also several genetic conditions and diseases that can significantly shorten the lifespan of individuals, such as progeria, a rare genetic disorder that causes aging to speed-up which has an average lifespan of around 13 years.

It’s also important to note that the average lifespan of humans has been increasing over time, because of advances in medicine, public health, and living conditions. However, there are some indications that this trend may slow in some countries.

In summary, while the average lifespan of humans is around 72 years, the maximum recorded lifespan is 122 years and 164 days, and genetic conditions and diseases can shorten the minimum lifespan. Advances in healthcare, nutrition and living conditions have led to an increase in human lifespan. 

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