Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Methusaleh Mouse Prize established to stimulate immortality research

I found this article particularly interesting although I must admit to being a skeptic. At the recent Pop!Tech conference in Portland, Aubrey de Grey expressed his conviction that the 4,000- or 5,000-year life is right around the corner. Mr. de Grey was not selling an afterlife or a metaphor. He is a geneticist at the University of Cambridge, in England, and his prophecy was straightforward if hard to believe: Getting old and dying are engineering problems. Aging can be reversed and death defeated. People already alive will live a thousand years or longer.

He was at pains to argue that what he calls "negligible senescence," and what the average person would call living forever, is inevitable. His proposed war on aging, he said, is intended to make it happen sooner and make it happen right. He subscribes, it seems, to the philosophy articulated by Woody Allen: "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."

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