(The Secret of Longevity(Imam Mahdi
Introducing the Criticism: We said that others criticize the belief of Shiites about Mahdi from the past that: If he is the son of Imam Hassan Askari and was born in the year 255 after Hijrah from his mother Narjis and is still alive then he is more than thousand years old now, while:
Neither our daily observations show us people with this old age!
Nor today’s science accepts that!
Nor it has historical example!
Study and Research:
We agree the criticizers in this matter that normal and ordinary ages which we usually see are not more than one-hundred years, and rarely reaches one-hundred and twenty years, and in out time, people who have reached one-hundred and fifty or sixty are considered as exceptions in the world.1
But it is not possible to suffice to these matters for a scientific discussion and research about the matter of the longevity and the following matter should be considered and we see that:
Does normal life have a constant limit? What does today’s physiology say about that?
Is there any way of increasing the lifetime?
Were there exceptional people who were different with normal humans in physical, spiritual, body parts, different senses and other general characteristics?
Does history really remember people with ages older than what we can see today
And above all, it should be considered that who are these criticizers and what is their understanding from different religious issues?
Does Normal Life have a Constant Limit?
A small batter has limited lifetime; for example it works for 24 hours continuously; then its power ends.
For instance, a light bulb works for one thousand hours and then it dies.
Maybe an automobile works for 20 years.
Also, other human produces has approximate specific lifetime and average limit; albeit, if user uses them in good conditions then they work more and if they are used in bad conditions then they work less than the specified amount.
We have also different kinds of lifetime in nature; there are particle inside atoms, which live for only one-thousandth of a second and sometimes “one-hundred millionth” of a second, but in change the age of the earth is estimated to five thousand million years!
Now we should see that whether the lifetime of living creatures in nature is like the lifetime of our industrial products or not. For example, human lives about 80 years; a dove lives about 5 years; an insect about some months; a plain tree lives about 150 years and a flower shrub about 6 months.
In the past, a group of scientist believed in a system of normal lifetime in living creatures. For example:
Pavlov believed that normal lifetime of human is 100 years.
Metchnikoff believed that normal lifetime of human is 150 to 160 years.
Kaufland, German physician, believed that normal lifetime of human is 200 years.
Pflüger, famous physiologist, believed that normal lifetime of human is 600 years.
And finally Bacon, English philosopher and scientist increased the number and said it is about 1000 years.
But this belief has been denied by today’s physiologists and the issue of constant limit of normal lifetime of human is invalidated.
According to Professor Smith, Columbia University: “As the sound barrier broke and moving equipments appeared with ultrasonic speed, some day the barrier of human lifetime will break and it goes beyond whatever we saw until now!”
The living evidence which is possible to introduce for proving this belief is the experiments that a group of scientists have performed on different plants or animals in laboratories and they was successful in increasing the lifetime of a living creature in conditions of laboratory up to “twelve times” more.
For example, an experiment which is performed on a plant with the lifetime of only two weeks shows that it is possible to keep it up to six months.
If assumable, such increment is possible on human lifetime then there will be humans with more than hundred years of age.
Another experiment has been performed on a fruit fly, which has a very short lifetime, and they were successful in increasing its lifetime up to “nine-hundred times”!
If assumable, this amazing and extraordinary increment becomes practical on human lifetime then a person lives more than seventy thousand years!
Albeit, most of us neither wish for such tiresome age nor accept it even for free, until the poet says:
من از دو روزه عمر آمدم بجان، ای خضر - چه می کنی تو که یک عمرجاودان داری
I am tried of these two days of life, O Khizr - What do you do who live forever
And if assumable we accept that, the earth is not ready for accepting this much of living humans!
But our goal is studying the issue of longevity scientifically.
We know that today, many biologists have seriously studied the issue of increasing human lifetime; if such thing was impossible then these researches seemed to be useless.
Nutritionists believe that lifetime is closely related with the way of eating and environmental conditions; they have studied the lifetime of queen bee, which lives several times more than normal bees, and have understood that this matter is the result of royal jelly which is produced by worker bees especially for the queen that is different with normal honey; and a group of scientists thought that it is possible to increase human lifetime for several times with large amounts of this jelly.
Psychologists say that human lifetime is strongly dependant on his/her thinking way and beliefs and human lifetime increases by having series of constructive and calming spiritualities and beliefs.
A group of physician believes that: Oldness is a kind of illness which appears because of atherosclerosis or “Metabolism Disorder”; and if we can overcome these factors by correct eating and effective medicine then we can defeat the oldness and we will have a long life.
All these discussions clearly proves this issue that the legend of “constant normal lifetime” is nothing more than a false legend; and it is not possible to consider a specific limit for the lifetime of living creatures.
Especially, by opening the way of space to humans and beginning of space travels, the issue of lifetime was considered more seriously; because it has become certain that our short lifetimes our not proper for taking long astronomical journeys. Sometimes, several thousand years of age is needed for making a small step in this expanded universe with current spaceships and tens of thousands of years is needed for farther destinations; therefore, some scientists have thought about another way of increasing the lifetime and that is using freezing system.
Maybe, this matter was discovered for the first time by observing some of living creatures who had kept their normal life while being frozen; for example, some while ago a frozen fish was found inside polar ices that the condition of ice layers showed that the fish is for five-thousand years ago!
At first they thought that the fish is dead, but after putting it in warm water they surprisingly saw that it began moving; it is recognized that it was alive during these five-thousand years but with a weak flame of life!
At this point, they thought if it would be possible to use this method for humans and for example, if it is possible to freeze a space traveler in his/her cabin and an automatic system gradually brings his/her body to normal conditions after hundreds or thousands of years then the problem of lifetime in space travels would be solved.
Now, some of physicians have thought that they use this system for the patients whom their treatment method has not been found yet, and for example, propose to those who have cancer, to go to deep sleep - or beyond sleep - by freezing method, and for example, return to normal conditions after two centuries that the treatment method of these illnesses is naturally found and treat them.
All these discussion, plans and proposals show that according to today’s knowledge, there is no constant limit for the lifetime of humans and other living creatures and its amount can be changed.
1. Some while ago I visited an old man who was not able of performing fasting in the holy month of Ramadan and was asking about the issue of atonement of fasting; I asked about his age and he answered 29 year old. And because he saw that I was surprised, he added that he doesn’t count the hundred and I say after one hundred years which means I am 129 years old!
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