No, This Doesn’t Make Sense

Herman Bernstein “Élie Metchnikoff,” With Master Minds; Interviews by Herman Bernstein (New York: Universal Series Publishing Company, 1913), p.61:

We are working all along in this direction in the hope of finding the most effective remedy for premature senility. I am only 64 years old, and yet see how gray my beard is. I look much older than I really am. This should not be. People will attain happiness only when they will grow old naturally, not as they now grow old without years, and when they will be able to use all their faculties, without suffering or pain, until the time sets in for their natural death. The relief that medical science brings to suffering humanity should not be regarded as merely a negative ideal. The absence of suffering, which means that man can make use of his perfect health, constitutes a very positive ideal, which is appreciated all the more as the years go by and which makes it possible for man to avail himself of the other advantages of life.

In an interview with the Financial TimesLaura Deming echoed Metchnikoff’s sentiments on increasing healthy life span by  developing treatment for age-related diseases:

I tell her I’m not sure that everyone thinks that the fact of ageing — rather than its symptoms — is an obvious problem that needs addressing. Deming suggests I think about infectious disease. “For such a long time, people viewed it as a required part of life. Of course you’re going to die in your twenties or thirties from this random virus. You thought it was the natural course of life, until Pasteur and others said: ‘No, this doesn’t make sense.’ ”

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