Being old I find that I am surrounded by people even older. Many of them seem to be more mobile than some young people. Meanwhile we hear that the average life expectancy of Americans has gone down, especially white males. Does that mean we are living shorter lives? The fact that the life expectancy today is close to 80 and 200 years ago it might have been 40, does that mean people live twice as long today?
The answer of course is yes and no.
This is a matter of statistics. We are talking about averages and what most people forget is there are at least three different types of average: Mean, mode, median. The mean is what most people think of as an average. You add up all the numbers and divide by how many numbers were in your sample. Median is the score half way between the bottom and the top. Mode is the most frequent.
Assume that a couple has four children and only two survive to adulthood and they live to be 80. The other two died as infants. The mean average would be 40 years. The median would be 40 years and the mode would be 80 years.
Take the same family and three live to be 80 and the other dies in infancy. Then it is mean, 60; median is now 80 and the mode is still 80.
Again you have one that lives to be 80, two to sixty and one as an infant. Now it is mean 50, median 60 and mode 60.
Notice that the life expectancy is actually 80 in all cases but the averages are changed based on how you figure the numbers. It has been pointed out to me that the life expectancy is higher because with modern medical advances and improved sanitation, children survive to adulthood. The top number does not change significantly. It is what happens before that number is reached that changes the statistics.
So you have as good a chance of living to 100 as anyone ever has and the longer you make it the better your chances because you have already gotten past childhood diseases, the foolishness of youth and the age to be drafted for a war.
Keep in mind the example of Moses,
(Deu 34:7 KJV) And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.All you need is a diet of manna and quail with an exercise routine of walking through the desert for 40 years.
homo unius libri