The Tithonus Error

The Tithonus Error is the belief that extending life means making people older for longer. Most people have an entirely justified horror of the later stages of degenerative aging, and so the idea of more of that just isn’t on the table. The rejection of more life under those terms is instinctive and visceral.

The goal of longevity science, is to enable people to be younger for longer, not older for longer. The medical control of aging and the defeat of all disease is an opportunity to be seized rather than a certainty already in the bag for those people in middle age today. Let’s stop confusing people with a term “life extension” and replace it with “youth extension” or “health extension” (with the former being far more descriptive, inspiring and marketable). People will be less likely to commit Tithonus Error if they are presented with terms that actually correctly label their intended meaning. I don’t think there would be many people who would reject “youth extension”.

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