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Anuraag Reddy

AIESEC India

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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
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  • Nov 24 2011: I'm not an expert,but I feel that the answer to the question of "Why evolution hasnt solved the issue of aging." is a simple one. The answer lies in what exactly evolution is : Evolution is the modification of features in a species over generations, governed by the concept of natural selection and survival of the fittest. When an organism doesnt die, a new generation of the species does not arise, and so evolution cannot occur. Slight mutations in every generation is what leads to evolution.Bye definition the next generation that does survive has to be better equipped to survive than the previous one. The younger organisms of the species have almost no chance of survival without initial support from the mature of the species.That said, I feel that evolution had almost come to a snails pace in comparison to it previous snails pace, which makes it extremely slow in the case of Homo sapiens, thanks to medicine. Its not just the fittest who survive and reproduce but rather almost everyone does, regardless of their strengths or weaknesses. But evolution is still taking place, the rise and fall in the number cancer cases might be an indicator to this. The body is trying to advance in its ability to repair damaged tissue. But the mutations have not reached a stable maturity for the species to move in a particular direction, by having the weaker part of the species overtaken by the stronger. Besides modern medicine would allow us to replicate it in the weaker set of our species too once it stabilizes if we dont artificially find a way to stabilize it first.

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