Aging denialism must be overcome
Thank you for writing this and the extensive discussion. It is sad to see folks succumb to what I would call the “easy niche” allure. That’s a growing niche these days, telling folks stories they’d like to hear ... I could go on about this. Aging is real... talk to serious folks experiencing aging. Can we do better in extending what Sinclair and others call ‘youthspan’? Sure. Real world data suggests there are adaptations to be had... yes, accumulating genetic errors & decay of organ function efficiency are real.
Great post, Dan! Thanks for taking on Dr. Coughlin. Sadly, he isn't alone. Rahm Emanuel's brother Ezekiel is a self-proclaimed bioethicist who wrote a now-famous article for the Atlantic called "Why I Hope to Die at 75" (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/10/why-i-hope-to-die-at-75/379329/). I thought that article was the pinnacle of irrationality, but Coughlin's bizarre view is a contender. And this view is sadly true of other biomedical fields where problems are hard and people are failing to solve them. This attitude of "don't cure, destigmatize" is also becoming popular in regard to mental diseases and disorders. The biomedical sciences have fared so poorly in treating mental illnesses that it has become trendy to accuse scientists of "medicalizing" mental illness, and to promote destigmatization (rather than cure) of even serious mental dysfunction.
Aging deniers are as obviously deluded as, for example, climate change deniers, and potentially as dangerous.