Re: "Sound and Fury" over enhancements

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Wed Jan 09 2002 - 23:26:39 MST

On Wed, 9 Jan 2002, Spike Jones wrote:

> This offers an foresight to when we start to cure aging. There
> will likely be many who will object, "what if we lose aging?"
> As the current cure deafness does not work for those who
> have long been deaf, I would suppose the cure for aging would
> not work for the already extremely aged. I suppose the last
> deaf persons and the last aged persons will be lonely indeed.

If we can restore brain plasticity, I think we should be able
to get effective cures for the long deaf. Similarly if we
can produce individual specific proto-stem-cells I think
we can reverse even the extremely aged. A really effective
age reveral program is going to require the immune system
detecting and removing aged cells while the stem cells provide
new replacements.

The last deaf and last aged need not be lonely if they know
they freely chose that path and their wishes were respected
by others.

The really sticky issue now is the problem that the recently
posted Dawkins article pointed out -- Just like parents behave
so as to create a child that "is Catholic" or "is Protestant",
deaf parents have to make choices for their children (due to
the current lack of ability to restore brain plasticity)
to make their child "one of the deaf" or "one of the hearing".
Currently they can't wait and let the child choose without
effectively handicapping the child. I can't definitively
say that being "one of the hearing" is better than being
"one of the deaf", but I can say that having an extra sense
probably does reduce your hazard function. So parents
choosing to keep their children deaf may be placing them
at a higher risk for accidents.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:33 MST