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Attitudes to life extension via genetic engineering

Ken Wolfe kenwolfe at access.mbnet.mb.ca
Mon Feb 27 21:49:33 EST 1995

In <3il6be$7c0 at mcd1.fm.intel.com> brauchfu at fiw149.fm.intel.com (Brian Rauchfuss - PCD) writes:

>In article <3hovu7$g1o at canopus.cc.umanitoba.ca>,
>Ken Wolfe <kenwolfe at access.mbnet.mb.ca> wrote:

>>In <Pine.SOL.3.91.950212144723.16568A-100000 at corona> Patrick O'Neil <patrick at corona> writes:
>>>natural resources, and our societies and economies cannot handle the 
>>>results of significant life extension.

>If significant life-extension is available but is denied, is this really 
>different from mass-murder?  Would it not be better, at least to offer
>people the choice between reproduction and life-extension (note that 2 or
>less children per couple does not create an exponential population problem).

Denying anyone access to life-extension technology would be exactly the 
same as denying somebody access to life-saving medicine, it would be 
murder.  I like the idea of giving someone the choice between life 
extension and reproduction with the following proviso: you have to share 
your slice of the resources pie with your offspring.  

>>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, 

>The current population growth is not exponential.  The growth rate for the
>last 400 years has been hyperbolic (much worse than exponential!) and the
>growth rate for the last 20 years has slowed greatly.  I am not sure if there
>is any way to model population to predict the future.

Hyperbolic, exponential, the end result is still more or less the same in 
the long run.  The growth rate WILL go down, either by choice or necessity.

As for modeling population growth, somehow you would have to model the 
decisions made by individual families regarding family planning.  There 
are so many variables on those decisions, I have no idea where you would 
even start.
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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