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Antiaging Research Priorities [was Re: Major Criticisms of

James james at nospam.com
Sun Sep 20 19:24:46 EST 1998

> [snip]

> Is the probability that someone born in the relevant time
> frame would engage in severe CR for all of their adult life
> 1:~600,000 or better? I don't know, but my guess is no. I
> think that TODAY it's more likely that there are people
> practicing some kind of accidental CR, but in the days
> before fortified food, before wide-spread knowledge that
> fruits and veggies are important, before even consistently
> available food of _any_ kind, I think the odds would be
> extremely remote. In investigating this question some time
> ago, I looked into different dietary habits of different
> religious practices, and found that there are some that
> involve restricted eating, but it's always simple food
> restriction, the kind of diet that results in shortages of
> numerous essential nutrients.
> People don't like being hungry. For someone to spite their
> hunger for over a century, or to have some kind of genetic
> or psychological mechanism by which hunger is naturally
> spited, or naturally very low (radically low, given we're
> talking about severe CR), AND to have eaten a diet that
> wasn't short on protein or B-12 or folate or any of the many
> other nutrients that one shouldn't be even a little bit
> short on, seems exceptionally remote. With 5,000,000,000
> subjects, I can see that it might occur, but with 600,000 or
> so? I think it's unlikely.

All your points are well taken.  I had thought of some of them
myself, but not all of them.  I think the big problem is that
there is no way to place good odds on anything we are
discussing.  Without being able to assign numbers to anything I
can't say (or refute) that it would or wouldn't have happened
with 600,000 people.  I can't even be certain at 5 billion...
It just seems like an awful lot of people to me.

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