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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 29 2011: I have difficulty with the beginning of the premise of your hypothesis: "In the absence of change in ones environment, or competitive stresses an organism would eventually adapt itself to survive longer."

    Evolution doesn't occur in a vacuum, change is the only constant.
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      Nov 30 2011: evolution doesn't occur in a vacuum, there is change. There are environmental changes and other species evolving around them but lets consider this, there are ecological niches which undergo little change and species which are occupying them.

      Here is some empirical data supporting my hypothesis: cited from Wikipedia
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_life_span#In_other_animals

      The differences in life span between species demonstrate the role of genetics in determining maximum life span ("rate of aging"). The records (in years) are these:
      for common house mouse, 4[10]
      for Norway rat 7[citation needed]
      for dogs, 29, in Australia (See List of oldest dogs)[citation needed]
      for cats, 38[citation needed]
      for polar bears, 42[11] (Debby)
      for horses, 62
      for common chimpanzees, 71.4[12]
      for Asian elephants, 86[13]

      The longest-lived vertebrates have been variously described as
      Macaws (A parrot that can live up to 80-100 years in captivity)
      koi (A Japanese species of fish, 200+ years, though generally not exceeding 25) Hanako was reportedly 226 years old upon her death.[14][15]
      Greenland Sharks (A species of shark native to the North Atlantic, believed to be about 200 years)
      tortoises (Gal√°pagos tortoise) (190 years)[16]
      tuataras (a New Zealand reptile species, 100-200+ years[17])
      eels, the so called Brantevik eel (Swedish: Branteviksålen) is thought to have lived in a water well in southern Sweden since 1859, which makes it over 150 years old.[18]
      whales (Bowhead Whale) (Balaena mysticetus about 200 years)

      If you observe closely, it is those species that are living fossils like the Galapagos turtles, tuataras that have the longest lifespans whose ecological niches have changed little over millions of years.

      or

      Even a species influence on an environment both to change and adapt seems to have a significant influence on ones longevity. Both humans and elephants are the longest living mammals.

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