Longevity Statistics Visualized at BoingBoing

Thoughts and a couple of charts at BoingBoing, bringing a few of the ideas of engineered longevity a little closer to the masses. Every little bit of advocacy helps in the long run:

Charts: 1

The bad news is that despite all our advances in medicine, sanitation, and other relevant factors, the chart still tapers off around age 100. Average lifespan has increased, but maximum lifespan has not changed significantly.

One reason may be that research to prolong maximum lifespan receives minuscule funding, especially compared with popular endeavors such as cancer research. Many people seem to feel that extending maximum lifespan would be "wrong" (even at a time of rapidly declining birth rates in many nations) or "unnatural" (even though our average life expectancy used to be around 40, and has improved through totally unnatural means such as antibiotics).

As you may infer from the quotation marks, I disagree. Of course, I realize that these are controversial issues.

One of the most effective special-interest groups seeking funding for longevity research is www.methuselahfoundation.org.

Charts: 2

We can feel happy that people today are surviving more tenaciously than anyone expected half a century ago. How will our current prediction turn out fifty years from now? Presumably the answer depends on our priorities. If lives are worth saving, perhaps it will make sense to fund more research into the aging process.

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.