Archive for May 8th, 2014

May 8, 2014

Soteriology

Salvation Army

Soteriology [suh-teer-ee-ol-uh-jee] is the branch of theology dealing with Salvation. Buddhist salvation (called nirvana) is liberation from suffering, ignorance, and rebirth. Hindu salvation (called moksha) is similarly characterized by emancipation from the cycle of reincarnation. Mainstream Christian soteriology is the study of how God reconciles the separation between man and God due to sin. Christians believe individuals are miraculously saved by divine grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and reconciled to God.

Islamic soteriology focuses on how humans can repent of and atone for their sins so as not to occupy a state of loss. In Islam, it is believed that everyone is responsible for his own action. So even though Muslims believe that their father of humanity, Adam, committed a sin by eating from the forbidden tree and thus disobeying his Lord, they believe that humankind is not responsible for such an action. The major Jewish denominations emphasize prayer and morality in this life over concern with the afterlife.

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May 8, 2014

Maximum Life Span

life span

Maximum life span is a measure of the maximum amount of time one or more members of a population has been observed to survive between birth and death. The term can also denote an estimate of the maximum amount of time that a member of a given species could survive between life and death, provided circumstances that are optimal to their longevity. Most living species have at least one upper limit on the number of times cells can divide. This is called the Hayflick limit, although number of cell divisions does not strictly control lifespan (non-dividing cells and dividing cells lived over 120 years in the oldest known human).

In animal studies, maximum span is often taken to be the mean life span of the most long-lived 10% of a given cohort. By another definition, however, maximum life span corresponds to the age at which the oldest known member of a species or experimental group has died. Calculation of the maximum life span in the latter sense depends upon initial sample size. Maximum life span contrasts with mean life span (average life span or life expectancy). Mean life span varies with susceptibility to disease, accident, suicide and homicide, whereas maximum life span is determined by ‘rate of aging.’

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May 8, 2014

Supercentenarian

Jeanne Calment

A supercentenarian [soo-per-sen-tn-air-ee-uhn] is someone who has lived to or passed his/her 110th birthday. This age is achieved by about one in 1,000 centenarians. Research on the morbidity of supercentenarians has found that they remain free of major age-related diseases (e.g., stroke, cardiovascular disease, dementia, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes) until the very end of life when they die of exhaustion of organ reserve, which is the ability to return organ function to homeostasis. About 10% survive until the last 3 months of life without major age-related diseases as compared to only 4% of semisupercentenarians (age range 105–109 years) and 3% of centenarians.

There are estimated to be 200–350 living supercentenarians in the world, though only about 70 cases have been verified. A study conducted in 2010 showed that the countries with the most known supercentenarians (living and dead, in order of total) were the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy. The first verified supercentenarians in human history died in the late 19th century. Until the 1980s, the oldest age attained by supercentenarians was 115, but this has now been surpassed. To date there are 30 verified cases of people who have lived to the age of 115 or more. Of these cases, ten individuals are known to have reached 116 years of age (or older).