Careful analysis of the ethics of research on mechanisms of aging needs to recognize the complexity of human biology. Many contemporary bioethicists and policy-makers are exploring the ethics of 'anti-aging' interventions; however, current ethical analysis of biomedical research into disease processes and aging mechanisms is dominated by hyperbolic commentary. Numerous analyses in the bioethics literature mention the topic of anti-aging interventions and then leap to reflections on the banality of immortality. There is, however, no persuasive scientific evidence to suggest that humans are on the verge of becoming 'posthuman immortals'. Thoughtful ethical analysis of contemporary biomedical research ought to avoid philosophical and rhetorical excesses. We need more temperate discussions of current developments in biotechnology.