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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 30 2011: I do not think it would be in evolution's interest to solve aging. Aging and death are necessary for evolution. If the weak ones do not die, then there is no evolution.There would still be a couple accidental deaths and competition etc. But the number of deaths would be less. This could increase crowding and therefore competition and just balance out the death toll.

    I do agree that we would probably live longer if our environment was unchanging though. We would just evolve to an optimum stage and remain that way. But given that our environment is ever changing and that we are constantly confronted with new viruses, competition etc, it is only natural that there would be some regular 'pruning' going on to keep the amount of genes circulating abundant. If we were all the same, then mass deaths would be even more frequent.

    I do wonder how species that live longer cope though.

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