The Immortality of the Crab

To be human is to seek immortality, whether by freeing the soul or freezing your brain. It's the root of religion, the inspiration of philosophy and the driving force behind music, art and literature.

At the beginning of the 21st Century, immortality is a serious business. We've always wanted to live just a little longer, and through exercise, diet and medicine we're getting surprisingly good at it. Life expectancy is rising and rising - children born today in the West have a life expectancy of 100. And this has changed our future in ways we're yet to really understand.

Tom Shakespeare goes in search of that future - and in search of what we can do now to negotiate with that future. We'll need new foods, like insects. We'll need to rethink relationships, and family dynamics. Will we be more reckless, feeling that life just goes on and on? And will we grow old disgracefully, rather than seeing the maturity that used to come with years? The statistics don't tell the whole story of what our future will be.

But perhaps we need to think again, and work a little harder on our changing relationship with death rather than celebrating the length of life?

And then there are the layered meanings in a phrase of Spanish... just what is "the immortality of the crab"?

Featuring writer Bryan Appleyard, bio-chemist Guy Brown, philosopher Stephen Cave, priest and journalist Giles Fraser, painter Osi Rhys Osmond, designer Susana Soares, gerontologist Anthea Tinker CBE.

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43 minutes

Last on

Sat 20 Sep 2014 22:15

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