Live long and prosper


I saw a posting on facebook recently about Lonesome George, the giant tortoise who passed away last week. He was the last of his species, and some comments lamented the loss of another species from the planet and talked about how humans are destroying the habitats of many animal species, which I cannot disagree with. But then I saw this comment (emphasis mine):

I’m not much into doomsday prophecies, but I do think that if we don’t reduce our number VERY soon, nature will do it for us. Perhaps a world-wide epidemic, or mass-psychosis causing war. This is not the right time to make people live longer and treat infertility. Too stupid for words.

As someone whose mother (in her 70’s) is currently fighting cancer and whose sister recently had a baby via a surrogate because of infertility (also due to cancer treatment), I think making people live longer and treating infertility is not only a good idea, it’s our duty as human beings.

Firstly, I thought it funny that this person says they’re “not much into doomsday prophesies” and then proceeds to make one. The infertility thing I disagree with, but I suppose I can understand the logic. There are lots of unwanted children born around the world, and infertile people usually have the option of adopting one of them, rather than making a whole new one. But this is a very personal choice and who are you to decide that someone else should not have a child who is biologically theirs just because they have to jump through a few more medical hoops to do it than the average person?

But the other comment is mind-boggling. How do we as a species not try our hardest to make people live longer? What does this person suggest we do? Abandon medical research? Deny the elderly medical care? Don’t bother curing childhood diseases that we can cure like polio and smallpox because that reduces the number of people who survive to adulthood (and therefore the number that will procreate)? A girl we know survived life-saving transplant surgery when she was six months old; she is now fifteen. Should they have just let her die as a baby? Hell, I had my own life-saving surgery two years ago – should they not have bothered?

Too stupid for words indeed.

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