We could radically extend the human lifespan. Here’s why we shouldn’t

We’re all getting older. But how long should we be able to keep getting older for? By Hayley Bennett In 2020, US and Chinese scientists found a way to enable nematode worms to live five times longer than normal by manipulating their genes. Worms are often used in ageing research since we’ve inherited some of the same genetic circuitry during evolution. It’s suggested that targeting some of these conserved genes using drugs could be a way to extend the human lifespan. But since worms only live for a few weeks, extrapolating the US and Chinese scientists’ success to humans could be foolhardy. In … Continue reading We could radically extend the human lifespan. Here’s why we shouldn’t

We Have to Talk About Doubt

How to tell the difference between scientific and conspiratorial skepticism. BY DAVID KRAKAUER What is the role of reasonable doubt in advancing science? And how should we contrast scientific doubt with the cavilling doubt of conspiracy theories which play little part in advancing understanding? Over the last year we have seen the scientific method of doubt put to work in the development of entirely new kinds of vaccine and yet another kind of doubt limiting people’s willingness to get vaccinated. Scientific doubt working to reveal the frightening extent of anthropogenic climate change and conspiratorial doubt, like a demonic twin, undermining … Continue reading We Have to Talk About Doubt