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Efstathios S. Gonos
F. Gonzalez-Crussi

Mark Benecke

The dream of eternal life

Most of us see long life as a goal worth striving for. In 'The dream of eternal life', Mark Beneke has much useful information for those of us hoping to make it to the age of 100. The book covers a wide range of subjects, looking at different views on death and what can be done to avoid it. There is also discussion of the ethics of medical issues such as organ transplants and there is a chapter on the long term outlook for humanity (rather than individual humans), examining what can be done about environmental problems.

The trouble is that although the blurb suggests that the book is about living to 150 or more, and about what the problems of such a life might be, in fact these issues are hardly touched upon in the book. The book sometimes seems to go off at a tangent, and doesn't mention things such as mitochondria, which I would think of as being central to the discussion. Furthermore, Beneke's justification for his views seems weak - he often seems to have a negative outlook without any substantial argument to support his postion. If you like the 'broad brush' approach then you might find it worthwhile reading this book, but for a proper discussion of the possibilities and problems of greatly extending the human lifespan I would look elsewhere.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews