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Attitudes to life extension via genetic engineering

Ken Wolfe kenwolfe at access.mbnet.mb.ca
Mon Feb 13 20:10:31 EST 1995

In <Pine.SOL.3.91.950212144723.16568A-100000 at corona> Patrick O'Neil <patrick at corona> writes:

>Significant life extension is not tenable, at least not until (and IF) we 
>begin to colonize space or other planets...how far off is THAT?  In such 
>circumstances, billions of people with longer lifespans might not hurt 
>and might even be a benefit.  Until then, the planet, its biosphere, its 
>natural resources, and our societies and economies cannot handle the 
>results of significant life extension. ( I would NEVER support it for 
>only those who can afford and exhorbitant price for it either)

>Unless there is another planet sitting around for us to expand onto, or 
>unless everyone will accept strict population control methods, then it 
>cannot work.  The problems are the same, to varying lessor extents if you 
>are only considering minor life extensions.


Actually, both life extension and space colonization are irrelevant to 
the conclusion that either humans will curb their population growth or we 
will get it curbed for us.  If you take our current exponential 
population growth rate and project it a few thousand years in the future, 
you will eventually get a solid mass of human bodies expanding outward in 
all directions at the speed of light.  Life extension would make that 
point come just a little sooner.  Obviously, long before then growth 
rates would have been curbed, by fair means or foul.  Space colonization 
would just slightly delay the point at which the rate would have to drop.

Best regards,

Ken Wolfe

Ken Wolfe                    |  Fax:        I hate fax machines
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada   |  Compu$erve: 73527.2203 at compuserve.com
Ken_Wolfe at MBnet.MB.CA        |  GEnie:      k.wolfe8 at genie.geis.com

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