ECO 5705 week 13 articles Brendan O’Neal

ECO 5705 week 13 articles Brendan O’Neal -...

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Brendan O’Neal ECO 5705 Week 13 Economist Articles The first article that I chose to critique was Methuselah’s Mixture: Why do we grow old? And is ageing really compulsory. The article goes on to discuss anti-ageing research and how the author of the book “The Youth Pill: Scientists at the Brink of an Anti-Ageing Revolution”, David Stipp has researched the topic of the proverbial fountain of youth and there has been significant strides in the research for attaining longevity in humans. He bases his findings off of research that is done in laboratories on fruit flies and mice: this research states that when these animals are fed near-starvation diets, their lifespan is increased by about 40%; the researchers conclude that this is due to a reduction of stress hormones and ageing agents, so to speak. We understand little on the biological processes involved in ageing, so this is an important finding that would be valuable if it translated directly to humans. Humans have forever been chasing eternal life; this shows in parables, religion, stories, and folklore throughout history. This raises many good questions about the length of a useful life. The operative word is useful and this is a subjective method of measurement, though I feel that anyone who reads this can agree that usefulness can translate into contributory to one’s respective community without being cumbersome and a burden to the community’s resources. Just because I take part in a therapy to extend my life 40%, does this 40% extension in life imply that I will be a functioning, contributing member of my community? What about other physical ailments that may come along with ageing? If life is prolonged without solutions to other social issues, our current
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social issues are merely compounded. I would imagine that this anti-ageing therapy would be available to only those who could afford it; I do not see this type of “luxury” being widely available. To have this sort of therapy available, mankind would have to figure out a solution to poverty, disease, over population, and many other issues. I do not see many benefits of having such an extension on one’s natural life. Just as aborting every unwanted baby to solve one problem, extending every life does not solve anything either. Is our desire to live forever really what we want? Or do we really want to merely avoid death? Death does bring a lot of unknowns into the picture. As humans, on our “higher level” of consciousness, we fear this unknown; death is something that we do not have the means to explain, so we soften this perplexing puzzle with an un-intellectual
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ECO 5705 week 13 articles Brendan O’Neal -...

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