Response to Aubrey De Grey From the Perspective of Buddhism

Authored by: Derek F. Maher

The Routledge Companion to Religion and Science

Print publication date:  October  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415492447
eBook ISBN: 9780203803516
Adobe ISBN: 9781136634178


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Aubrey de Grey’s lively and enthused advocacy for prolongevity (Chapter 48 in this volume) is compelling and contagious. He envisions a not-too-distant future in which advanced biomedical therapies enable people to postpone the detrimental effects of living a long time by repairing the accumulated physical damage that constitutes aging. He expects that a broad array of therapies, which would address various sorts of diminished cellular performance, would serve to rejuvenate the recipients, rendering them biologically more youthful, even as they gather years in a chronological sense. As new advances are developed, de Grey supposes that patients would periodically visit clinics to receive the latest therapies and to repeat those they had utilized in the past, thereby continually bumping the biological clock back in time. His confidence that realistic headway could be made in postponing aging arises largely from his conviction that there are only a limited set of categories of change that occur in the human body to contribute to its usual and, until now, relentless decline (de Grey et al. 2002). Hence, as solutions are found to mitigate each of these limited types of problems, people will repeatedly be restored to a more youthful state of health, even as they grow older chronologically.

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