Re: Aging isn't a disease

From: Robert Coyote (
Date: Sat Oct 13 2001 - 13:42:51 MDT

I'm guessing the definition of "disease" may have both a legal (or
institutional) and scientific definition, one could say that aging is or is
not "disease" depending on the context.

Could one say aging is not a "disease" and be correct, even if scientific
consensus shows otherwise if it is not legally (institutionally) recognized
as true?

> Anders made this comment (in the Meritocracy thread), but
> I'm relocating it back to the aging discussion for the sake
> of archive continuity:
> I said:
> > Do we have any question that Laura Bradbard from the FDA has
> > done the extensive survey that Robert Freitas has done
> > to begin a rational classification of what "is" or "is not"
> > a "disease"?
> Anders replied:
> > Actually, I think she is basing her statement on a long debate in the
> > community of medical philosophers that has largely reached a conclusion
> > like this. She might not have come up with it on her own, but it is the
> > result of quite some thinking.
> Yes, the problem is that the foundation on which thinking has
> been done is shifting rapidly. This is pointed out by the recent
> article by James Hughes in the Journal of Evolution and Technology:
> "The Future of Death: Cryonics and the Telos of Liberal Individualism"
> (the site appears offline right now unfortunately)
> [Alternate:]
> (Its a good article, I highly recomend it.)
> > In fact, Robert is the lone outsider I think most medical philosophers
> > would regard as badly informed and educated. We might agree with his
> > views and think they make sense, but to convince the rest of people
> > involved in this issue requires a lot of writing and debating, extending
> > and refining the ideas enormously.
> I tend to trust that when Robert "surveys" something he does a very
> detailed job of it. While Nanomedicine does not go into the history
> of some of these concepts in detail, I expect the cited references do.
> Now of course there probably only a few dozen to a few hundred people
> alive on the planet familiar enough with that body of literature to
> discuss it productively, so I doubt the concepts will move forward
> as rapidly as we might desire. As the Hughes article points out
> the "biofundamentalists" are going to be very resistant to what
> is coming.
> Robert

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