In <199502141304.FAA05748 at net.bio.net> LITVAK at VMS.HUJI.AC.IL writes:
>>I've been reading this newsgroup for several months and this is my first
>posting. I'd like to relate to the latest discussion about life extension
>via genetic engineering and ask more general question. I think, Patrick's
>arguments against life extension are very persuasive. Right now even minor
>changes in human lifespan would cause a demographic disaster.
> But if so, what is the ultimate goal of aging research? May be I missed
>something but I don't remember any serious discussion about this subject.
>In my opinion there can be several possibilities:
>1) The aging research is being carried out because of pure scientific curio-
>sity. I think no one really believes that this is so. Any real progress in
>this research will be immediately implemented. Even if there are some people
>claiming that they are satisfied with their current lifespan there will always
>be plenty of those who want to live longer. We are talking about lot of money
>here and this argument can beat both moral and demographic calculations in our
>2)The purpose of aging research is to find a way for people to remain healthy
>and active till their death without increasing their lifespan. The two obvious
>questions are:"Who will want to die if this is achieved?" and "Why would people
>die at all?"
> It's unlikely ,I think, that the scientists will only know how to make an 80
>years old man look young and healthy and won't know how to make him live longer.
>In any case such situation will only make people unhappy because many of them
>are now ready to accept death because of aging and it's consequences.When this
>reason is taken from them they may feel better physically but not psychologically.
>3)We really want to increase human lifespan ,perhaps even become immortal. This
>is the possibility that has been discussed here at the last few days and I don't
>think there is much to add. Even those who are optimistic about conquering other
>planets etc. would agree that if some radical breakthrough in aging research
>happens before we find a solution to the population problem, it won't bring any
>blessing to humanity. It'll be demographic bomb that can be even worse than
> I don't see other possibilities except what I mentioned. If anyone does I'll be
>glad to hear.
> My personal suggestion is that researchers should focus on alternative ways to
>prevent death. First of all the question that should be answered is: What is death?
>Until now no one has proved scientifically that there is life after death,
>however, no one has proved the opposite as well. It seems like this question is
>being avoided by the official science because of it's religious and mystical
>connotations. But there are some facts requiring explanation and such
>explanation has to be provided. Announcing anyone who is trying even to collect
>those facts pseudo-scientist won't help. If we discuss the possibility of
>colonizing other planets and changing completely human genom, why can't we
>imagine that afterlife really exists. And anything that exists can be studied
>by science. If we prove that our identity will be in some form preserved
>after death we'll be able to give up the desperate attempts of making people
>live longer and start studying aging out of pure curiosity (and it'll be
> If we prove that there is no afterlife, then we should answer a new question:
>What part of ourselves should be preserved in order to make us immortal? Is it
>our body, our mind, our soul (what is it?), our memory or all together.
> Let's say we managed to copy all the information stored in person's brain
>into a computer and make a machine think in the same way. Does it mean that we
>made this person immortal?
> May be if there is no other form of human existence except in biological body
>we should create such form. It can be computer, a combination of biological
>tissue and some artificial parts or something completely different which we
>can't even imagine right now.
>This all sounds like science fiction but the computer which I'm using to write
>this and the Internet itself would seem a science fiction to any reasonable
>man some 30 years ago. But here they are and this is just the beginning of
> This is about all I wanted to say. I really want to know what you think
>> Vladimir Litvak litvak at vms.huji.ac.il>>>To all you anti-aging enthusiasts:
First let's starts by re-defining aging as a disease. Dr. Ron Klatz, at the 1994 Amer.
Acad. Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M):"Aging is not an immutable reality of human existence,
but a complex pathology of degenerative disease that is preventable, controllable, and,
in some cases, reversible." A4M, a respected medical society, proclaimed this position
loudly at the Las Vegas (more than 1,000 attending) meeting.
OR; Read my latest book, "TRIPPING THE CLOCK, a practical guide to
anti-aging and rejuvenation" (HQ publ., 1994, $ 19.95), avail. from:
IAHHM, 218 Ave. B, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. OR: read Preventive Medicine UP-DATE (empha-
sis on alternative med. and anti-aging. Send s.a.s. envelope (2 stamps) for - - we won't
charge you - - sample copy.
Hans J. Kugler, PhD, IAHHM President.