Another common but incorrect reason for thinking that aging is somehow special is that it is “universal”—it happens to everyone. Well, yes: If you live long enough, you’ll exhibit signs of aging. But this is only a corollary of my earlier point about rates—that aging is really slow compared to age-related disease.
Because age-related diseases progress from diagnosability to death rather quickly, many people die of one such disease before the others emerge, or at least while they are still too early-stage to have been diagnosed. Would you like to learn more about telomerase activation and the science behind Epitalon?
But if those people hadn’t suffered the disease that killed them, they’d have lived long enough to suffer others. In fact, all the diseases of aging are universal in the sense in which the question ought to be asked: namely, you’ll definitely get them if you don’t get something else first.
Thus, in concluding this section I hope to have convinced you that aging is not something inherently mysterious, beyond our power to fathom. There is no ticking time bomb—just the accumulation of damage. Aging of the body, just like aging of a car or a house, is merely a maintenance problem.
And of course, we have hundred-year-old cars and (in Europe anyway!) thousand-year-old buildings still functioning as well as when they were built—despite the fact that they were not designed to last even a fraction of that length of time. At the very least, the precedent of cars and houses gives cause for cautious optimism that aging can be postponed indefinitely by sufficiently thorough and frequent maintenance.