Written by Brad Miner
Monday, February 3, 2020
I came across a book recently with the – to me – insanely provocative title, Lifespan: Why We Age and Why We Don’t Have To. The hardcover flap copy includes the more modest assertion that “Aging is a disease, and that disease is treatable,” which still strikes me as ill-conceived (are growth and change really diseases?), and then this: “Recent experiments in genetic reprogramming suggest that in the near future we may not just be able to feel younger but actually become younger.”
Putting aside the utterly scary notion of genetic reprogramming, isn’t it logically imbecilic to suggest that anything can become younger? Well, I haven’t actually read the book, so I should move on.
Except . . . I did peek at the “Conclusion,” which includes an attack on the 2003 report (Beyond Therapy) of the President’s Council on Bioethics, which members included such distinguished commentators as Leon Kass, Robert George, Mary Ann Glendon, Charles Krauthammer, and James Q. Wilson, all of whom the author of Lifespan characterizes as “zealots” engaged in “deadly hogwash” for promoting acceptance of human life as a continuum from birth and growth to aging and death.