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George Burns lived a good long life, hanging on to one hundred. These days scientists say that's no big deal. According to them, some of us may be tottering around the golf course when we're 150. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the quest for immortality ? how long can science fend off the grim reaper? Also, some down-to-earth tips for lengthening your life. And, a history of cremation ? why more and more Americans are drawn to the flames.
Biologist Steven Austad is so confident human beings will soon live to be 150 years old that he's bet on it with a colleague. Austad tells Steve Paulson about the wager and why he was willing to make it. Also, Austad's bet is with University of Illinois biodemographer Jay Olshansky, who tells Anne Strainchamps that people should be happy they achieve old age ? we're already living way past our expiration date! Olshansky is the co-author (with Bruce Carnes) of "The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging."
Scott Russell Sanders teaches creative writing at Indiana University in Bloomington, and is the author of a book of essays called "The Force of Spirit." He tells Jim Fleming about the spiritual growth spurt he noticed in middle age, and reflects on how he now feels connected to his ancestors and the natural world. Also, Zorba Paster tells Jim Fleming that many of the practices outlined in his book "The Longevity Code" grow out of his Buddhist practice and belief. Paster is a physician in family practice and the host of the public radio program "Zorba Paster on Your Health."
Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 01-04-08-A.
Stephen Prothero teaches religion at Boston University and is the author of "Purified by Fire: A History of Cremation in America." He tells Steve Paulson about the first American cremation, which didn't really go very well, and the current craze for going out in a blaze of glory.
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