Praesidium

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Who Wants to Live Forever?

Apparently, scientists have had some success not only in slowing but actually reversing ageing in mice. The story was noted by Colin Farrelly here. This same story also led to this point of view on the BBC, in which the author questions the wisdom of combating ageing.

Here's my comment:
The point of reversing ageing isn't simply to keep us barely alive in the way that the author suggests at the end, but to arrest both physical and mental decline. If you could be as healthy at 100 as you were at 50, there's no reason why you couldn't continue an active life - for instance working and babysitting your great grandchildren.
The author may say "most of us don't want to live forever" but I don't see what evidence she has for this. In my experience, most people still in possession of their faculties want (as she says) to live longer. If this applies equally at 500 as at 50, then I see no reason to suppose that most people will ever reach a point where they're bored of life.

Colin has more on the imperative to tackle ageing.

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