TED Conversations

Anuraag Reddy

AIESEC India

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

Why evolution could never solve aging?

Maybe aging is an essential mechanism to clear out the old and make way for the new like cells within a body?

Maybe every form of life is already close to the upper limit of life expectancy?

Maybe aging is in the nature of carbon based life and metabolism?

Maybe we genetically sacrifice our longevity to survive the stresses of competition.

Emerging Questions:
Is it that our metabolic processes are over-compensated for dominance in their sexual prime which prove detrimental for longevity?

Is it that genes leading to different lifespans are mixed indefinitely in nature that it was never possible to select for it?

Isn't an organism with a longer span of mating at an advantage?

My hypothesis:
In the absence of change in ones environment, or competitive stresses an organism would eventually adapt itself to survive longer.

If every organism is a product of evolution then there must of course be underlying mechanisms within itself to aid such an adaptive process.

Under the influence of adaptive pressure, it would encourage mutation or variations in order create successful variations and also increase the number of life-cycles and so reducing the lifespan.

Under the influence of competitive stress, the dominance would lead to reproductive success and not the span of mating during ones lifespan.

In the absence of change in ones environment leading to adaptive pressure, or competitive stresses from rivals to prove dominance. Species would evolve longer lifespans.

Just a Theory though! But it would predict that

Lifespans of living fossils which have undergone little change in time should be greater than their relatives which have recently evolved.

Life having evolved on geographically isolated places far from intense competitive pressures should have greater lifespans.

Living things higher up in the food-chain or with few natural enemies should have greater lifespans.

Life span in pair bonding species should be higher than tournament species.

Topics: aging evolution
+16
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Nov 21 2011: Would aging not be an advantage of evolution?
    The longer reproductive cycle would mean that there's less iterations for a specific time period meaning slower evolution.
    I thought that's scientists use some type of worm to test DNA mutation experiments.
    Also it's noted that the longer life span of the human species in the last few centuries are mainly the result of the better sanitary conditions, such as clean water, waste management and so on...
    • thumb
      Nov 22 2011: That is true, our lifespans have increased mostly because of how we have changed our lifestyle and nothing special that we have evolved.
    • thumb
      Nov 22 2011: I would argue that the life span of the human species hasn't been make longer, only the number of years that any person is expected to live on average. It means that a 1000 years ago there were people that could live a 100 years or more but on average the life expectancy was much lower because a lot of people died as a child. Nowadays thought better sanitary conditions and medicine less people die at a young age so the life expectancy increases, but it has nothing to do with the life span of the human species as a whole (life span is an evolutionary phenomenon, how many years you actually live is a matter of environment and behavior). I would guess that people that survive their childhood a 1000 years ago had better genes that make them lived longer; because today we have many ways to save children that couldn't be saved before we are preserving arguably weaker genes that eventually could diminish the human lifespan. (PD.sorry if any gramatical mistakes, english is my second language)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.