Aging Doesn't Just Kill People, It Kills Them Horribly

You can compare and contrast the views of biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey (chair of the Methuselah Foundation, originator of the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) and gerontologist Robert Butler (president of the International Longevity Center and one of the folk behind the Longevity Dividend initiative) in a series of short videos available at Big Think. A small sampler can be found at the Big Think blog:

What is the point of knowing your own genetic code? For many scientists, the genomic era promises to entail the ultimate type of "preventive medicine," preventing not only biological disease, but aging itself. [Biomedical gerontologist] Aubrey de Grey suggests that an ending to aging would limit suffering since "aging just doesn’t kill people. It kills them horribly." It’s something we may not quite be prepared to deal with "because aging has been considered inevitable for so many millennia."

Dr. Robert Butler too believes that in a hundred years, we’ll be living much longer, better.

The rest of their video segments can be found elsewhere in the site:

Aging to death is a terrible fate, but human ingenuity and application of the scientific method have banished many other horrible fates from most lives in past decades. We live in an age of revolution and accelerating prowess in computation, biotechnology and medicine. So much is possible today that could not even have been planned two decades ago. Scientists know more than enough now to work to prevent and repair the root causes of age-related suffering, degeneration and frailty - all that's needed is the public support and will to move forward, to seek a cure for degenerative aging.


We need to encourage people to think of aging as a disease. No one questions the value of the fight against infectious disease in the 20th century and degenerative disease today. Aging is just a collection of degenerative diseases, properly considered.

I'll check out these videos and probably link to some of them. Bit by bit the reality gets out into the mass public mind, one posting or video at a time, to one viewer at a time. The idea makes progress even if it's slow.

Posted by: Infidel753 at April 19th, 2008 8:39 AM

My father lived his life with frantic belief he would would live to 110 just by doing all the right things he was advised would prevent him from aging. Well he didn't grow old he died at the age of 69 from lung cancer (he hated smokers and never smoked). It was a horrible death for him since he could not understand why it was happening to him.

Feel free to believe however, in my opinion science has a million years to go before it can understand life.

Posted by: syn at April 22nd, 2008 5:28 AM
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