Monday, February 26, 2007

Progress of Science

“Max Planck tells us in his Autobiography that he does not believe that science progresses by the self-correcting action of minds. Rather, he thinks, the new ideas are promoted by the young as being new and especially theirs, and the old men with the wrong ideas eventually die off.”
—Barzun, Science: The Glorious Entertainment, New York, 1964, 15.
Hopefully sometime I will get around to writing why I think humankind as a whole might not be served by people living much longer lives. But, this quote gets to the heart of my idea.

via Leowong2004


crush41 said...

Even more fundamental than that, death is a crucial component of evolution. If anti-aging progress outpaces genetic engineering, space and resource constraints will further discourage child-bearing. Humans are still evolving. Do we want to stop this?

Anonymous said...

Creatures with shorter life cycles evolve much faster than creatures who live longer.

Maybe the 'evolution of knowledge' is like that too.

Fat Knowledge said...


Interesting question. I have been wondering about a similar question. If you assume the number of people is constant, is it better to have people live to 100, or to allow 2 generations of people to live to 50? The number of people alive at any time would be the same. I don't know the answer, but I think there are some benefits to just living to 50 that are overlooked in our quest to extend our lifespans.


Good point. I think you are probably right.

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