I found something Elon Musk & I agree on: pushing back on anti-aging bluster

Would you guess that Elon Musk might be into using biotechnology in a high-profile way to try to live far longer than usual, say to age 150? That would have been my assumption.

There are countless things about Elon Musk that I really don’t like. I also don’t see many issues on which we are in sync. However, there is at least one thing on which we seem to agree and it surprised me.

Elon is quite skeptical of anti-aging exuberance. It’s an interesting position for him since it seems many of his tech bros have the opposite view.

Musk has been surprisingly blunt about the potential downsides of anti-aging and risks of living too long, especially if one’s health isn’t good.

Elon Musk
A young Elon Musk with Peter Thiel in 2000. Unlike Musk, Thiel now seems more into longevity efforts.

Elon Musk on anti-aging

In a recent The Street piece, we see that Musk pushed back on Twitter on anti-aging exuberance and disagreed with Peter Diamandis:

“With the sector growing and technology advancing, Peter Diamandis, the founder of the XPrize Foundation and Singularity University, thinks that human lifespans are on the verge of jumping a significant margin.

“We are edging closer toward a dramatically extended healthspan — where 100 is the new 60,” he tweeted. “What will you create, where will you explore, and how will you spend your time if you are able to add an additional 40 healthy years to your life?”

Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter and CEO of Tesla, disagreed with Diamandis.

We seem to be leveling off with a mid-80-year lifespan,” he said. “Are you aware of something presently that changes this outcome?

Some logical skepticism there.It especially hit home for me since I’ve been following Diamandis’ Fountain Life anti-aging/health clinic firm (it says it isn’t a longevity firm). I’m skeptical of its offerings.

More from Musk on anti-aging and lifespan: I’d rather be dead

There’s more on Musk’s skepticism about longevity efforts.

A newer piece in The Observer on Diamandis and Musk chatting also focused on Musk’s skeptical views on anti-aging.

For example, Musk replied to Diamandis on the idea of living to 100, “I don’t think I want to be a burden to society or have dementia and not knowing what’s going on. I’d rather be dead.”

It feels like he’s being blunt instead of just trying to make money on longevity.

Will getting older change his mind?

Can the sometimes seemingly ageless David Sinclair change Musk’s mind with his super-excitement on anti-aging efforts?

As Musk continues to age, will he have an epiphany that switches things up? Will he decide that anti-aging is, in fact, worth pursuing? Aging can be humbling at times so we’ll see.

How’s Musk doing so far as he has aged? If you look at the picture above of Musk from 2000, two-dozen years ago, and compare how he looks now 24 years later, he doesn’t seem to have aged much, at least in outward appearance. But then again who knows how short his telomeres are, right? Maybe his DNA methylome is relatively ancient? I’m kidding.

Of course, telomeres and DNA methylation do bear on aging but I’m skeptical of today’s highly-marketed tests that claim to measure people’s biological ages that way. Anti-aging bluster even won my The Screamers Science Hype Award for 2023.

Keep in mind, there are some rigorous research efforts to battle aging in the context of improving or sustaining quality of life. For example, check out Altos Labs.

Leave a Reply