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Is Radical Longevity Desirable?

James Watson: If people had a longer life, human beings would progress more slowly.    

If we slowed down too much and just lived forever, then the species would simply go extinct. The earth may be warmer or colder and it looks like for most species we have as high a possible mutation as a species can take.  So we’re constantly having to change. And so if people would have a longer life, human beings would, I think progress more slowly.  

What if there was a 100-year-old person who looked like they were 30? What if you could remain 30 forever?  I’m not a good person to ask these questions to because I’m not very effective at thinking about things that won’t occur.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think’s studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


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James Watson: I think we’re all in favor of being alive when we’re alive.  And of course, it's how you define being alive.