Supporting the philosophical study of bioethics, bio-medical ethics, biotechnology, and the future of life, at Middle Tennessee State University and beyond... "Keep your health, your splendid health. It is better than all the truths under the firmament." William James
People are living longerand societies are getting grayer.You hear about it all the time.You read about it in your newspapers.You hear about it on your television sets.Sometimes I'm concernedthat we hear about it so muchthat we've come to accept longer liveswith a kind of a complacency,even ease.But make no mistake,longer lives canand, I believe, willimprove quality of lifeat all ages.
Now to put this in perspective,let me just zoom out for a minute.More years were addedto average life expectancyin the 20th centurythan all years addedacross all prior millenniaof human evolution combined.In the blink of an eye,we nearly doubled the length of timethat we're living.So if you ever feel like you don't have this aging thing quite pegged,don't kick yourself.It's brand new.
And because fertility rates fellacross that very same periodthat life expectancy was going up,that pyramidthat has always represented the distribution of age in the population,with many young ones at the bottomwinnowed to a tiny peak of older peoplewho make it and survive to old ageis being reshapedinto a rectangle... (continues)