188 Emancipation from Death UPSETTING THE ‘NATURAL’ ORDER “This is hubris,” some tell us. “Death is natural, and we must not play God.” [3] Yet ever since the earliest human donned an animal skin, we have used our native resourcefulness and cre- ativity to enhance our security, comfort, and efficacy; from the loincloth to the toga to the modern suit, from Ben Franklin’s bifocals to contact lenses to laser eye surgery. In modern marketing, products are commonly promoted as ‘natural’. But what is natural? And what is unnatural? By the most precise definition, everything that occurs in our world – whether synthetic or not – is natural, because humans are a part of nature and therefore the products of our hands – or our machines – are also part of nature. That is not, however, the meaning of ‘natural’ that most people intend. Rather, they are referring to products, events, or occurrences not made or caused by human beings. Thus, milk would be classified as ‘natural’, while Kool-Aid would not. (Never mind that the milk we buy in cartons at the store has been pasteurized, homoge- nized, and vitamin fortified.) Less trivial debates surrounding the word ‘natural’ arise when considering enhancements that might be made to human beings, especially when we talk of defeating death. It is interesting to note that numerous other scientific  measures  to  improve  the  human  condition  have initially been scorned as unnatural and intolerable by many, only to be later accepted almost universally. Examples include anesthesia,  blood  transfusions,  vaccinations,  birth  control pills, and organ transplants. Consider what our world might be like without these and hundreds of other improvements that may not fit the popular definition of ‘natural’. Tooth  decay  is  natural  –  should  dentistry  be  outlawed? Polio is natural – should we ban the Sabin vaccine? Cholera is natural – should we allow epidemics to rage unchallenged? Death  is  natural  –  must  it  continue  to  wreak  its  dreadful