[Draft] Fighting Aging as an Effective Altruism Cause

Fight­ing Aging as an Effec­tive Altru­ism Cause: A Model of the Im­pact of the Clini­cal Tri­als of Sim­ple Interventions

Ab­stract: The effec­tive al­tru­ism move­ment aims to save lives in the most cost-effec­tive ways. In the fu­ture, tech­nol­ogy will al­low rad­i­cal life ex­ten­sion, and any­one who sur­vives un­til that time will gain po­ten­tially in­definite life ex­ten­sion. Fight­ing ag­ing now in­creases the num­ber of peo­ple who will sur­vive un­til rad­i­cal life ex­ten­sion be­comes pos­si­ble. We sug­gest a sim­ple model, where rad­i­cal life ex­ten­sion is achieved in 2100, the hu­man pop­u­la­tion is 10 billion, and life ex­pec­tancy is in­creased by sim­ple gero­pro­tec­tors like met­formin by three more years on av­er­age, so an ad­di­tional 250 mil­lion peo­ple sur­vive un­til “im­mor­tal­ity”. The cost of clini­cal tri­als to prove that met­formin is a real gero­pro­tec­tor is $60 mil­lion. In this sim­plified case, the price of a life saved is around 24 cents, 10 000 times cheaper than sav­ing a life from malaria by pro­vid­ing bed nets. How­ever, fight­ing ag­ing should not be done in place of fight­ing ex­is­ten­tial risks, as they are com­ple­men­tary causes.


● Aging and death are the main causes of hu­man suffer­ing now.

● Sim­ple in­ter­ven­tions could ex­tend hu­man lives un­til ag­ing is defeated.

● Th­ese in­ter­ven­tions need to be clini­cally tested be­fore FDA ap­proval.

● A trial of the life ex­ten­sion drug met­formin is de­layed by lack of funds.

● Start­ing tri­als now will save 250 mil­lion peo­ple from death, at a cost of $0.24 for each life saved.

Please com­ment on the preprint of the ar­ti­cle here: https://​​goo.gl/​​WaEYt5