Aging is a disease that can be cured
At least that’s what Aubrey de Grey believes. I want to believe it as well. I am not interested in dying at this time. Transhumanists may not be in the media spotlight now, but it’s likely the future will change that.
…James Hughes, an administrator and instructor at Trinity College in Hartford, is a leading transhumanist theorist. The executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, which he co-founded when he was the executive director of the World Transhumanist Association, Hughes has written several books on transhumanist ideas, including Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future.
It would appear that Hughes, a buttoned-down professor-type with a close-cropped goatee, is dealing with ideas better suited to science fiction than the real world. However, he traces transhumanist history back to old, earth-bound traditions.
“It goes back to the enlightenment, about 400 years or so,” Hughes said. “And when you go back to those original ideas, you see a number of things emerging, among them the notion that science and tech can be applied to human affairs, and things can be engineered and improved upon.”
While the average earth dweller of 2008 may feel uncomfortable with the idea of engineering a human being they will still pay for LASIK surgery or a hip replacement. If they could safely and cheaply replace the human heart with a model that wasn’t prone to spasms we call heart attacks that often lead to death, most people would get the replacement put in without much serious consideration. In the next two decades, we should see a massive increase in the number and type of life extending, life quality enhancing surgeries available. This is assuming we can avoid universal health care, which will cause stagnation, in my opinion. I am unaware of pioneering surgeries recently developed in France or Britain. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that government socialized health care is statist in nature.
There is no reason not to expect to live 150-200 years if you are 20 today and in good health. Assuming you’re not a partner in a meth lab, wearing a soldier’s uniform or engaged in extreme sports, you have a shot at living a very, very long time in comparison to people born 50 years ago. Depending on social upheaval and battles over the world natural resources you might live to see the middle or the end of the millenium.
Many people are not interested in this idea, particularly those who have not yet faced death and found it to be a distinctly unpalatable notion. For those among you who do not believe in one or another of the various death cults of the world, I highly recommend keeping an eye on the activities of the Methuselah Foundation.
Stem cell research is just the beginning of the end of aging.