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Attitudes to life extension via genetic engineering

Patrick O'Neil patrick at corona
Mon Feb 27 18:39:53 EST 1995



On 27 Feb 1995, Rick Abrams wrote:

> >
> >There is no set, hard span but I have read estimates that put maximum 
> >human lifespan at around 120 years, which doesn't bode all too well for 
> >the Frenchwoman, depending on how one views things.  If I were a betting 
> >man, I would bet against the woman getting to 125. 
> >  The max possible is barring other factors such as cancer, heart 
> >disease, alzheimer's, congenital defects, etc.    
> >Unfortunately for your father, disease got him rather than age-related 
> >degeneration.
> 
> 
> Think it through, why is 125 a 'natural death' but 46 not? All I see
> is you saying is 'words mean what ever I want them to mean.'

Actually, I agree that a death is a death is a death and is natural...to 
a point.  There has to be some semantic delineations or you could also 
count murder victims as having experienced a natural death.  My statement 
concerning what I have read, the 120 year estimate, was simply meant to 
state that if someone ruled out other causes such as cancer, accident, 
illness, etc, and were set up to live for as long as they were 
biologically capable (on average), you might see around 120 years.  You 
could then call about 120 years the max of the NATURAL RANGE.  Hell, 
spontaneous abortion is as natural as breathing and it leaves a lifespan 
an indeterminant minimum, depending on what you call "life" or 
"human life."  Semantics and flexible.
  A genetic predispostion to die at a younger than average age IS natural
by definition.  Cancer death resulting from cigs or natural environmental 
toxins, etc, are natural deaths, though preventable.  
  As to words, they DO mean only what people want them to mean.  In a 
semantics fight, you could define almost any term to mean almost anything 
you want. 

Patrick




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