Thursday, August 04, 2011

Another Barrier Broken

On Monday, I passed the average life expectancy of an American male.

What a relief. With that barrier behind me, no generally recognized obstacles lie in my future until we get to what often is cited as our maximum allowable stay on earth. For me, that is 44 years and a couple of months in the future.

That should give me just enough time to finish up those two book manuscripts I’ve been working on (sporadically).

How do we know 120 years is the magic number? Because “the bible tells us so” (Genesis 6:3). The 120-year limit also pops up in a genetics theory supported by a fair number of scientists. How could that number be wrong?

For one thing, a French lady just a few years ago lived to the ripe old age of 122. Her longevity was well documented. On the other end of the scale, a different passage in the bible says the limit is 70 years. If that forecast was right, I’d be long gone. Various other religious pronouncements say all sorts of different things on the subject.

Shucks. Can’t we poor humans count on anything, even an approximate exit date? Well, that old saw probably covers it—death and taxes lie ahead, for sure.

9 comments:

schmidleysscribblins,wordpress.com said...

Morbidity and mortality. Two things a demographer comes to know well. And other humans too, apparently. Congratulations and may you have many more. Dianne

Sightings said...

Well, Dick ... Happy Birthday! And many happy returns.

joared said...

Since you've passed the 70 yr timeline, obviously you've proved the inaccuracy of the one statement. Therefore, the other one must be true, so you can look forward to perkin' along to 120+. Is there something wrong with my logic?

Well, hope the birthday was happy!
We can always be glad when we have a birthday, whatever our age, when we consider the alternative.

Big John said...

Happy birthday Dick.

It's not so much "when you go", but "how you go". An old doctor friend of mine told me that if he knew "when" he would make sure that he had a pint of beer in one hand, a good cigar in the other and a busty blonde lady ... Well I'll let you imagine the rest.

Dick Klade said...

Ooops, folks, I may have misled you. Monday marked the passing of a longevity milestone, but was not my birthday. B-day is New Years Day, still some months away.

However, I am grateful for the good wishes. Thank you all.

Ginnie said...

All this stuff boggles my mind. Just another reason why I try to live "one day at a time" and let the future come as it may.

joared said...

Your birthday is New Years Day??? You mean you deprived your parents of a tax break for the preceding year?

Dick Klade said...

Yes, my birthday is New Years Day. I really didn't deprive my Dad of a tax break, because he didn't earn enough in those days to be liable for any income taxes! Incidentally, his birthday was Christmas Day. So was his father's. If I would have arrived on schedule, three straight Christmas guys might have been one for Ripley's.

Dick Klade said...

Bill Hamilton commented by e-mail:

For several generations, no male on my Dad's side of the family ever lived to be older than 74, including my Dad, his brother, and my only brother. I am now 81-1/2 years old, and I've named my extra 7-1/2 years my genetic-free time.

(Especially interesting because no males in my father's side of our family lived beyond 74, either. That is, until me.I'm now with Bill in the genetic-free zone.)