It’s great that more of us are living to 100, but the transhumanist dream of immortality would betray what it means to be human

How long would you like to live? One hundred no longer seems too greedy. In 1983, the Queen sent 3,000 congratulatory telegrams to centenarians. By 2016 she was sending 14,500 cards. One in three children born that year are expected to make it to three figures. Should you receive the second royal card that is sent out for reaching 105, a recent study suggested that every year that followed you’d have a 50-50 chance of surviving – better odds than an 80-year-old. If you made it to 123, you’d beat a record held by a French woman called Jeanne Calment who died in 1997.

For many, that’s not good enough. Maverick scientists such as Aubrey de Grey are trying to find a “cure” for senescence, while transhumanists are looking to avoid the problem of your body packing up by packing you up and sending it to something more durable, like a virtual reality.

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