TED Conversations

Allan Hotti

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Is aging an inherited or acquired trait?

Aging, senescence and death have no direct survival benefit for the individual or his/her genes. Does this trait survive because it manifests itself after the reproductive years are over? Aging does not interfere with reproduction: so this allows this trait to survive. One can argue that the trait "cell death" has societal benefit, but this cannot explain it's persistence unless one uses teleological notions. Do all traits that manifest themselves after the reproductive years are over, tend to persist? Do elephants and tortoises have altered DNA's that promote longevity?

0
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • May 2 2013: Hi Allan,
    have you seen Jane Fonda's presentation, "Life's Third Act"?
    http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_fonda_life_s_third_act.html

    Talk about aging gracefully, Ms. Fonda talks about age being a time to acquire wisdom and complete one's self. She is speaking from a purely spiritual point of view, of course, not biologically...

    In the documentary "The Human Face", John Cleese "...expounds on the idea that as you get older your habitual expressions become etched into your face, showing the world what kind of person you are. "If you're beautiful when you get older," he says, "it's not a free gift. It's because your face shows qualities that are timeless—strength, kindness, dedication, wisdom, enthusiasm, and humor, intelligence, compassion."

    Is it too simple of me to say, that 'growing old gracefully' is a choice?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.