Claremore Daily Progress

Community News Network

August 6, 2013

Life beyond 100: Americans divided about extending human lifespan

Even as new research is making "radical life extension" — living well past 100 — sound more plausible and less like science-fiction, a new poll shows Americans sharply divided on a potential reshaping of mortality.

The report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center follows a flurry of recent medical and technological investment in anti-aging research, including dramatically lowering caloric intake and machines to replace failing organs.

Fifty-six percent of Americans say they would personally not want treatments that would allow them to live dramatically longer lives, said the Pew report, called "Living to 120 And Beyond." Fifty-one percent believe such long life spans would be bad for society, while 41 percent say they would be good.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans say they would ideally like to live to between 79 and 100. The median desired life-span, the report says, is 90 years — about 11 years longer than the actual current average U.S. life expectancy, which is 78.7 years. Just 9 percent of Americans say they want to live more than 100 years.

Among those focused on the ethical implications of changed concepts of mortality are religious leaders. Yet interestingly the poll shows people's views on a seriously lengthened life don't vary based on whether they believe in God or attend religious services. Perhaps the most striking difference in views is racial and ethnic. Blacks and Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to see radical life extension as a good thing for society.

Fifty-six percent of black Americans say radical life extension would be a good thing for society, compared with 36 percent of whites. African-Americans and Hispanics are also somewhat more inclined to say that they, personally, would want life-extending treatments.

"These findings are consistent with the survey's findings that blacks are especially likely to express a desire to live 100 years or more. And both blacks and Hispanics tend to be more optimistic than whites about the future outlook for their personal lives," Pew said in a statement Tuesday.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-HB0713-HowardMartin-004.jpg Airman laid to rest back home in Indiana six decades after death

    The mystery of what happened to a military transport plane that disappeared in the fall of 1952 into an Alaskan glacier was solved two years ago when a helicopter crew spotted the wreckage. But it took another two years to retrieve the remains of Airman Howard Miller and 16 other servicemen passengers. Saturday, Miller was laid to rest in his hometown of Elwood, Ind., with full military honors. Hundreds turned out for the funeral and burial services.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • New York to offer free lunch to all middle-school students

    New York's $75 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that began last week includes the first step toward offering free lunch for all 1.1 million students, expanding a program now reserved only for the city's poorest children.

    July 9, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 11.24.10 AM.png VIDEO: Pilot buys pizzas for storm-delayed travelers

    A Frontier Airlines pilot went above and beyond the call of duty when a recent flight from Washington, D.C. to Denver was diverted to Cheyenne, Wyoming due to bad weather.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why North Korean cheerleaders may soon descend on the South

    When you think of North Korea, "cheerleaders" may not be the first thing that springs to mind. The Hermit Kingdom is perhaps better known for less savory things like gulag-like labor camps and leadership purges.

    July 8, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 11.46.13 AM.png VIDEO: Foiled beach gear theft goes viral

    Video capturing a bizarre confrontation with two women allegedly attempting to steal beach gear on a Florida beach has gone viral.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 10.40.20 AM.png VIDEO: Sleeping fan suing Yankees, ESPN for $10M

    A fan caught on camera sleeping during a recent game at Yankee Stadium has filed suit against the Yankees and ESPN, claiming he suffered emotional distress when two announcers mocked him on the air.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo