Posted by: physicalimmortalitythemasspossibility | March 11, 2012

Francis Bacon and Physical Immortality

‎’…Cambridge graduate,a lawyer and philosopher,Francis Bacon….. The grand project of Bacon’s life was the reformation of learning.He had a vision of what it might mean to find things out; to go beyond all the learning and wisdom of the ancients and extend the boundaries of knowledge as far as the great voyages of exploration in his day were expanding the map of the world. Bacon’s books helped launch the project we call modern science; and in a manuscript he called the Valerius Terminus,.. he laid out his project’s ultimate goal.’To speak plainly and clearly,’ he wrote, ‘it is a discovery of all operations and possibilities of operations from immortality to the meanest mechanical practice.’
When Bacon wrote those lines, King James the First had just taken the throne and ordered a new translation of the Holy Bible. Bacon argued that scholars should begin to read the natural world around them with the same reverence and care as they read the Scriptures. Natural philosophers in great teams, companies and communities should begin to read and translate the great text of the world. Scholars in universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Paris and Bologna should go beyond their books. They should interview sailors about the Indies and Cadiz. They should interview miners about their quarries and blacksmiths about furnaces. Doctors should stop quoting Hippocrates and start examining their patients…..
Francis Bacon …. laid out the research program for the quest for longevity in a little book entitled The History of Life and Death or The Prolongation of LIfe.
‘To the Present and Future ages’, Bacon begins. ‘Greetings’. ….
…that we should mount a vast program….of the prolongation of life, and this program would become the triumph and centrepiece of this advancement for learning. The conquest of aging might not be possible in his own time, but it was not impossible, in his view,’those things are to be held possible’ he wrote ‘ which may be done in the succession of ages, though not within the hourglass of one man’s life.’…… from “Long for this World” by Jonathan Weiner


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