Search for longer life ‘could be catastrophic’ for planet
For thousands of years, mystics sought an elixir that would grant eternal life. That they did not succeed is possibly for the best, the head of a new Cambridge University department has suggested — because immortality would only open the door to a crushing sense of ennui.
Dr Stephen Cave, a philosopher by training, will lead Cambridge’s new Institute for Technology and Humanity, which will explore how technological progress — including attempts to radically lengthen lifespans — are likely to affect society.
In an interview with The Times he suggested that such efforts risk backfiring, because even relatively modest gains in lifespan would place too much pressure on the planet’s resources.
The institute will bring together philosophers, historians and scientists to examine progress in fields