Is human evolution finally over?

Eugene Leitl Eugene.Leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Mon, 4 Feb 2002 17:55:04 +0100 (MET)


On Mon, 4 Feb 2002, S. Alexander Jacobson wrote:

> Ok.  Do you think cancer will be cured in the next 50 years?  What do

Which cancer? There are many. Cure, as "all forms of cancer, at all
stages, in vivo, in 50 years" -- overwhelmingly improbable. We'll be able
to lick/delay a lot of them, if diagnosed early, and using a personalized
adaptive screening/therapy, though.

> you think the impact of nanotech will be on health?

Medical nanotechnology is very difficult. A much hairier problem than
"merely" making self-rep capable nanorobotics. I don't expect to live long
enough to see it, barring unforeseen advances in conventional life
extension, or an extremely fast ramping up of capabilities,
Singularity-style. I'm not expecting to see them both in my lifetime
(aforementioned 50 years, or so).

> Obviously the trick to living longer is not to die earlier.  Humans

Duh. Needed to be said, though, as some people seem to miss it. Current
cryonics has an overpowering aftertaste of snake oil, alas.

> have largely mastered keeping kids from dying (when they try).  They
> seem to be working on other stages of life as well.

Alas, it doesn't work so well in the geriatrics wards.

> There is no good evidence of limits on human lifetime and max age
> continues to increase.

There's definitely a ceiling for biology (a healthy human with good
genetic endowment on CR, etc). There's zero evidence that that ceiling is
growing at a perceptible rate.

-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
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