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Is There A Limit To How Long Humans Can Live?

3 September 2017, 6:01 am EDT By Athena Chan Tech Times
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Do humans have a maximum lifespan? Researchers of the latest study think that humans have a limit of up to a little over 120-years-old, but others may not agree.  ( Nay Lin Aung | Pixabay )

Researchers claim that a normal human lifespan actually has a limit. The maximum human lifespan is about 115 years, according to their findings.

Maximum Human Lifespan

Researchers from Tilburg University and Erasmus University Rotterdam tackled an already controversial subject when they took on human lifespan as their topic of choice. Though studies on the topic have been done before, researchers now utilized the extreme value theory in order to find out just how long humans can actually live. Perhaps also as a way to clear things up.

In order to reach their conclusions, researchers utilized data from 75,000 deaths in the last 30 years. As it turns out, the cap for human life even varies between men and women because the maximum life for women was found to be 115.7 years while the cap for men is apparently 114.1 years.

Although they found that people have been living longer in the last 30 years, researchers state that the maximum number of years lived has not increased. That being said, it's worth noting that the numbers they provided are estimates, and the actual numbers could very well reach a little over 120-years-old.

Naturally, they accept that there are a few exceptions to the supposed rule, just like Jeanne Clament, the French woman who died at 122 years and 164 days old. She is considered the oldest verified woman thus far.

Controversial Topic

This has been a controversial topic ever since a similar study was published in 2016, which also stated the cap for human lifespan. The claim sparked many opposing reactions from other scientists and researchers who found their statistics flawed, and who firmly believe that the current evidence points to no known specific limit.

"It's the worst piece of research I've ever read in Nature magazine," said Jim Vaupel, an age specialist from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research whose research opposing the 2016 study, along with a few others, was published just last June in the journal Nature.

As such, it's only a matter of time before scientists pose their comments on the current study and their use of the extreme value theory as a basis for their conclusions.

Extreme Value Theory

Extreme value theory is a branch of statistics that tackles extreme events or values based on information gathered from less extreme events. By definition, extreme events are events which do not often occur. The extreme value theory has its practical uses in finance and even in estimating extreme losses from natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes.

It was used in the current study to find evidence for a limit to human lifespan even with technological advances.

Is there a limit to how long humans can live? As of now, there is no consensus, but perhaps a better question as of the moment would be how we can make good use of the life we are living no matter how long or short it may be.

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