Longevity Research :: Stop Aging In Its Tracks

by derek on March 6, 2008 · 13 comments

Earlier tonight I received an IM from Shawn Knight mentioning an interesting article from Scott Wainner on the concept of longevity research and living indefinitely without the effects of aging.
Why should you care?
From a purely selfish perspective, fellow bloggers can grab a shot at some free money courtesy of Scott as he has offered a quick $20 to the first 100 people that blog about their support of longevity research. This is a great marketing move on Scott’s part as that will entice many people – ahem – to blog about it and this will quickly go viral and get the word out around the Interweb.
Beyond the possibility for financial gain though, longevity research is an idea that is rather controversial and can certainly generate some spirited debate.
Scott is attending the Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego and has had an opportunity to talk with some brilliant people that led him to a few conclusions about why many people do not support longevity research. In conversations that I have had with people about the idea of living forever, I have to agree with Scott’s first reason in that many religious people do not feel that it is acceptable and that we are intended to move on to the afterlife.
Whether you are religious or not, Scott does present some very interesting rationale for why longevity research is a good thing and why we should be focusing more effort on research.
What do I think about the possibility of living forever?
Sign me up!
There are questions that would need to be answered – such as how do you govern the point at which you would stop the aging process? In Scott’s article, he mentions the idea of living as a 20-something indefinitely without experiencing age related disease or decay.
Well, knowing how 20-somethings can be – there will be plenty of children born to these people. Will their children go through the aging process until they reach the same age as their parents? That would be rather odd. Or would the children of these 20-somethings remain a small child until a predetermined time when they begin to age to a 20-something and their parents “expire” or begin to age?
It might not be a perfect solution, as there would undoubtedly be problems along the way such as how to deal with over-population but generally speaking I do believe the idea of an indefinite life is very appealing. Would it create more problems than it solves? Anything is possible – which is exactly why this area of research should be pursued because the possibilities would be endless if this were reality.
What do you think?
Do you agree or disagree with the opinions presented by Scott? Should we be focusing more money and effort into longevity research or should we allow the world to continue on its current path? If you don’t believe in longevity research, should we continue to spend time and money on researching cures for cancer or other debilitating diseases?
It is certainly something to think about. Go ahead and share your thoughts here or in your own blog post – and get $20 from Scott in the process.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Aaron Wakling March 6, 2008 at 10:30 pm

I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.
Aaron Wakling

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Home Recording Studio March 7, 2008 at 8:18 am

I strongly believe that we have already done enough harm to human beings by taking life expectancy levels to ridiculous levels. As a social worker visiting old people’s homes, there is one running refrain that keeps coming back again and again – a prayer to end life.
We are already living for longer than nature intended us to and that is why geriatrics is such a paying medical profession today.
I for one would like to die before I have to wear adult diapers, forget my name, my children’s names, my history, etc.
I think that this is a project that will be of interest to people who are afraid to die. Most of us are not.

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derek March 7, 2008 at 11:00 am

You mentioned that you would like to die before needing adult diapers, but what if you never aged to that point and stayed as a younger adult?
The idea here isn’t so much to prolong the life expectancy but to prevent the aging process.
Regarding the theory that we are living longer than nature intended, why then are we looking for cures to cancer, AIDS, and any other of the many diseases? Is it okay to alter nature in those instances but not to try and find a possibility to prevent aging?
Don’t get me wrong, I think you have some very valid points but I also don’t think longevity research should be so quickly dismissed.

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Home Recording Studio March 8, 2008 at 8:22 am

Derek, I understand your point of view and am not getting you wrong. On the contrary, I believe as you do, that this is a forum where we can express our views and learn from each other.
Barring prevention, modern medicine as we know it has addressed itself to treating the symptoms. The aging process can surely be slowed by proper living as has been medically proved. This does guarantee one thing, that the healthy and fit longevity lets one die with his or her dignity intact. Let us take treatment for cancer, most cases, post treatment have such louzy quality of life that they wish that they had not undergone the torture of the treatment. The experience of the cure has been mostly worse than the disease.
The same with diabetes, cardiac problems, arthritis, etc etc. These are all the result of our way of living – modern, sedentary, and self indulgent. If we relearn to live like our grand parents did, the aging process would automatically be a healthy and fit one for all concerned.
Time and again, medical researchers advise changing life styles as the panacea, to no effect. So, instead of treating the disease, someone comes along with another idea for attending to the symptoms and we have another research project, well funded, and offering hope to a lot of people who will be better off just changing their life styles.
I think that both Futon-Matt and ms danielle too,are saying more or less the same thing in a different way.

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Nicole Price March 11, 2008 at 3:06 am

I couldn’t agree more. We have interfered enough with everything natural. We need to stop somewhere.

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Charlie Grugan April 16, 2008 at 7:42 am

I came across your post about longevity. I agree with you. Though I do offer a counter argument.
I feel that so far we’ve only extended life in a (pardon my French) Half assed manner. We’ve extended the time we live, but not the quality. I’m not afraid to die, I just love life.
I believe that we are halfway there. We need to understand that longevity alone will not make a happy life.

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derek April 16, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Charlie, thanks for adding your thoughts on the topic. I’d agree with you that the quality of the life that we have worked to extend has not received enough attention.
What do you think could be done to improve on the quality of life?

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G N October 14, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Hmmmm… I have to say I tend to disagree with the “paying profession” bit. Geriatric nurses, and other geriatric medicine professionals, are in high demand because they generally are paid less than professionals in other fields of medicine. It really boils down to Medicare- since geriatric health professionals are paid by Medicare, they miss out on the big bucks.
But I would tend to agree with the idea of aging being a natural process. I don’t want to live forever, but I would like to be healthy while I do live. (However long or short that may be!)
G Ns last blog post..How will the next president’s policy affect geriatric nursing?

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Futon-Matt March 7, 2008 at 12:51 pm

I think death is as much a part of life as birth, society avoids that subject like the plague. At the moment my wifes terminally ill grandmother has moved into my home with us so she can pass at home. Let’s just say that being 92 and afraid of death is not an easy thing to see. She can’t really move far on her own, is miserable most of the time, but she still wants to continue her existence. So, she fights and fights. She would definitely be interested in a program like this, especially if they could rejuvenate all that she’s lost.
I for one, don’t like the idea myself but I’m not on the verge of dying so what do I know.
Ok, I’m off my soap box now. Rant over.

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ms danielle March 7, 2008 at 5:49 pm

i think stopping the aging process is altering the natural course of human nature more than an issue of religious beliefs, since i see it as being more of a cosmetic issue. you mentioned it’s about stopping the aging process, not prolonging life which are completely different. but that’s just me. i might like to have the wisdom of a 50-year old and the face and figure of a 25 year old. đŸ™‚ but it would be creepy if my daughter and i looked the same age…

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Derrich March 8, 2008 at 2:28 pm

I’d love to stay young. But if I could find a way to have abs forever instead of a muffin top, I’d take that!

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Brewster March 9, 2008 at 2:22 pm

I too disagree with this research. At the moment I think that there are too many over populated countries in the world.

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Jimmy Eriksson November 26, 2010 at 12:30 am

Research on anti-aging and longevity is a very interesting field. I do solemnly believe that our lifespan is currently only touching the roots of our full potentials.
I do belive that technology will help us to live much longer than 80 years. There are several thousands of people who believe that human immortality is possible. For example, hundreds of people have been cryonised. Even famous researchers like Aubrey De Grey believes that human immortality will be reached in the ‘future’
Some field of longevity research that i believe in:
1. SENS (Aubrey De grey’s effort to fight accumulating waste)
2. Cyborgs (integrating technlogy to human body structures)
3. Longevity medicine – but with the need of rejuvenating therapies to sustain the body for at least a thousand years.
Regards
Jimmy E

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