I do wish someone would teach people like this about science, so they would stop turning it into a religion substitute ("Holy Grail of Wisdom?" Really?). If he wants to do something about aging and disease, perhaps a better choice would be to go into genetic research rather than running for president from the Immortality Bus. Good grief.
There are sound arguments to be made for Humanism, and I think that debate helps improve both religious and secular thinking. This sort of nutter does a disservice to rationalists, I think.
His idea to "live forever" is, ironically, the same argument made by those who claim essentially the same result via faith.
The difference is one group has a supernatural explanation as to how that will happen, and he has a science based version.
Both groups appeal to those terrified of no longer existing one day.
Both groups also have unsubstantiated claims as to the process.
I'm not 100% convinced that boutique genetics is a great idea...albeit the reservations are probably akin to GMO vs animal husbandry boundaries, etc.
Long term genetic changes to adapt to space or other worlds/environments might be a good idea if appropriate, but, potential reduction of the species' genetic diversity is probably a horrible idea.
We simply do not know what we DON'T know yet. We are learning at a blistering pace, thanks to CRISPR etc, but, the autonomous genetics, the RNA, the proteins, etc...are simply new territory/frontiers at the moment.
So, the time frame given for "immortality" seems as premature as the myriad dates for apocalypses that never materialize, etc.
I am ok with research into prolonging life and the quality of life, etc.. curing diseases, etc, and OK with more funding for the research......but immortality is not as reasonable a short term objective, as prolonging our quality time here.
With nothing being assured other than death and taxes, reducing the list to just taxes seems sad.
Imagine what social security/medicaid etc will be like with people simply living as healthy members of society, for centuries?
The retirement age would need to be adjusted - because working for hundreds of years would tend to be NORMAL, as who could save enough in a 60-70 year span to live on for millennia afterwards?
On the OTHER hand, with the magic of compound interest, saving for that eventual retirement would now be a lot easier...with centuries instead of decades to accumulate wealth.
Songs such as "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" would take on a new horror.
If you lived long enough, say millions of years, you could grow old enough to spoil your descendant's offspring from whatever species they eventually branched off into, etc.
Surviving long term interstellar space travel with one crew would become possible.....assuming they didn't go insane being stuck with each other in a ship for thousands of years, etc.
And so forth.
I would suggest there is a good debate to be had for 'science' (I use quotation marks as it is less well defined than 'religion') providing for the same needs as religion, which from a functionality point of view could make it a substitute for religion.
It provides explanation for natural phenomena
It provides hope that the future will be better
It provides censorship and rules
It provides a structured system of belief within which faith plays a big part
It has no deity, but not all religions do
It provides for the rule of law (particularly in place of religion)
It provides for ideological cohesion in support of social structures
It is the principle authority in many people's lives
All things considered, it sounds a lot like a religion to me.
I think it doesn't sound like a religion, because nothing of it requires belief in the supernatural/faith/belief without evidence.
Religion, I think, was simply mankind's, and perhaps some monkeys. etc, attempt to explain what was going on around them...an ancestor of science if you will.
Science was what religion evolved into over thousands of years.
So, just as there are still Englishmen even though some of their descendants became Americans, some are still religious even though science was available.
Most people essentially seem to be a hybrid, where they accept science where science has an explanation, and still use the supernatural either when science doesn't have an explanation yet, and/or when they don't like how the scientific explanation makes them feel.
So, over time, in places where the correct explanation for things is rewarded, the proportion of people who are more inclined towards scientific explanations and less inclined towards supernatural explanations, is growing.
In places where the religions penalize/murder those with the correct explanations, to enforce their own incorrect explanations, it is impossible to know what concealed viewpoints are at play.
Well, he is right to think that religion is harmful. Too bad he didn't just leave it at that.
Many can see the Augustan stable is full of BS.
What is debated is how to clean it out...and who has to do it.