The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Community News Network

August 6, 2013

Life beyond 100: Americans divided about extending human lifespan

Even as new research is making "radical life extension" — living well past 100 — sound more plausible and less like science-fiction, a new poll shows Americans sharply divided on a potential reshaping of mortality.

The report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center follows a flurry of recent medical and technological investment in anti-aging research, including dramatically lowering caloric intake and machines to replace failing organs.

Fifty-six percent of Americans say they would personally not want treatments that would allow them to live dramatically longer lives, said the Pew report, called "Living to 120 And Beyond." Fifty-one percent believe such long life spans would be bad for society, while 41 percent say they would be good.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans say they would ideally like to live to between 79 and 100. The median desired life-span, the report says, is 90 years — about 11 years longer than the actual current average U.S. life expectancy, which is 78.7 years. Just 9 percent of Americans say they want to live more than 100 years.

Among those focused on the ethical implications of changed concepts of mortality are religious leaders. Yet interestingly the poll shows people's views on a seriously lengthened life don't vary based on whether they believe in God or attend religious services. Perhaps the most striking difference in views is racial and ethnic. Blacks and Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to see radical life extension as a good thing for society.

Fifty-six percent of black Americans say radical life extension would be a good thing for society, compared with 36 percent of whites. African-Americans and Hispanics are also somewhat more inclined to say that they, personally, would want life-extending treatments.

"These findings are consistent with the survey's findings that blacks are especially likely to express a desire to live 100 years or more. And both blacks and Hispanics tend to be more optimistic than whites about the future outlook for their personal lives," Pew said in a statement Tuesday.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Must Read