In the last several decades, a significant amount of progress has been made in pursuits to better understand the process of aging and subsequently gain some level of control over it. Wide-ranging successes with gene therapy and increased comprehension of the genetic components of aging have also recently culminated in numerous successes in extending the longevity of animals and the first human trial of a gene therapy to extend life through telomerase manipulation is already underway, albeit on a small scale (Mendell et al. 2015; Bernardes de Jesus et al. 2012; Konovalenko 2014). In light of these recent accomplishments, bioethicists, sociologists, and philosophers have published a great deal of research on the subject, offering badly needed critiques, examinations, and discussions of the many potential positive, negative, and uncertain outcomes longevity extension could well necessitate. Their discussions are admirable and sorely needed, but the path to an even understanding of the potential consequences of longevity extension has lately become strewn with obstacles in the form of misplaced assumptions and a great deal of overtly emotional or instinctive rhetoric.



Publication Place

Tacoma, Washington


The University of Puget Sound