Ageing is the result of a great many complex biological processes, few of which we actually understand currently. The idea that modifying a single gene, or even a cluster of related genes, can magically stop ageing is at best wildly optimistic and at worst merely myopic. Furthermore, as most people live awful lives riddled with self-inflicted ailments arising from atrociously poor lifestyle choices, we must ask why anyone would think it is a good idea to attempt to extend the human lifespan. We ought, rather, to be looking for ways to extend the healthspan, as this would be infinitely more beneficial than adding a few more years in a wheelchair while dementia means the living corpse isn't even aware of its surroundings. Swift's Struldbruggs are a warning, not a goal to be achieved. Fortunately, as nearly every study conducted in animal models fails to replicate in human subjects, we don't need to worry about the Swiftian vision becoming real any time soon.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.