Google executive Bill Maris believes humans can live 500 years or more.  Not quite eternal life, but a quite substantial increase over the average lifespan worldwide of a measly 68 years.

Maris, at the age of 40, when men start seriously contemplating their own mortality, probably doesn’t grasp the irony in his having picked 500 years as the age to which human life could be extended.  It was almost exactly 500 years ago that Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon set sail for Florida seeking the Fountain of Youth, among other things.

So, in a sense, the soul of Ponce de Leon survives, 500 years on, in the person of Bill Maris, who is quite sure the Fountain of Youth will be found, not in Florida, but in immune system genetics.  Time, as always, will tell.

In the meantime, it’s probably a safe bet that, like Ricky Bobby observed in Talladega Nights (to paraphrase), “over 98% of everyone alive today will one day die.”  And they will do so well before their 500th birthday.  Though their cockamamie dreams of eternal life will surely carry on.

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