145. The longer life promised by science
Our technological capacity is growing at unprecedented speed. One of science’s Ithacas is enhanced longevity. Futurists like Ray Kurzwell tell us that the first humans who will live to 150 years old are walking the Earth today. Many react to this idea with concern, particularly about overpopulation, but such a change in life expectancy would also bring a change in habits, conception age, etc., which would most likely mean total population numbers will be unaffected even if life extension becomes widely accessible. It is easy to dismiss enhanced longevity as a fool’s dream, but the fact is that a longer life could be put to excellent use in the pursuit of greater knowledge, understanding, the solving of more complex problems or the creation of more beautiful objects. But most of the population are not engaged in these activities. The question we must answer is: do we want to extend life as it is today, or to change it at the same time, to give true meaning to its extension?
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