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On the Adolescent Neurosis

While driving to work a few weeks ago, I came across one of those ubiquitous call-in radio shows that fill our airwaves. The topic that day was aging and longevity, and the guest was a researcher who claimed that we are on the brink of discovering ways to extend life for remarkable lengths of time.

“Genetic and biochemical discoveries to be made in the near future,” he predicted, “will slow the aging process so dramatically that individuals born in the next generation, and perhaps even some children born today, could conceivably live not for a hundred, but for hundreds, of years.”

During the call-in period, a puzzled listener questioned the speaker.

“My wife is expecting a baby,” he began. “Are you telling me that ...

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