Todd Martin's Reviews > Eternity Soup: Inside the Quest to End Aging

Eternity Soup by Greg Critser
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's review
Apr 11, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: environment-science
Read from April 11 to 12, 2010

Eternity Soup is an interesting overview of the theories of aging (cell damage due to free radicals, programmed cell death, etc.) and the various efforts to extend the human lifespan (calorie restriction, hormone replacement, and others). Though medical advances have increased the average human lifespan it has done little to change the length.

Critser takes a realistic look at the science and quackery surrounding the field of life extension. Though I think he gives some of the theories a bit more credit than they deserve (perhaps due to an over-optimistic outlook) he concludes that while some may show promise, none are effective and some may be downright dangerous. The one thing that may work? Having robust social connections that allow you to stay engaged and active into old age (and unlike health care it doesn't cost a thing).

Though we all might like to live longer, this would also have serious implications for an already overcrowded planet. A medical breakthrough which doubled human lifespan may not be a positive event if it has correspondingly negative effects on quality of life.
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