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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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  • Steve G

    • +1
    Dec 6 2011: Being more a philosopher than a scientist, I can best address why aging isn't a "problem". Perhaps you can draw scientific conclusions. 1. Other people are environmental factors, and in today's world, the ideas held by people also become environmental factors which in a real way effect biological evolution. If people were not to age and die, that environment would begin to homogenize (peoples ideas don't change with any predictability or guarantee), and with less environmental variety, there would be less to adapt TO. 2. The gene pool stays the same longer - similar problem: the opportunities for different types of mutations becomes limited.
    Some of your hypotheses seem to favor this kind of homogeneity - a problem is that it is a little self-contradictory to speak of evolution in an environment in which change becomes a non-factor. If such "favorable" conditions did occur, evolution would almost certainly stop too - thus nothing new, including new lifespans. (It is important to consider that while adaptation and mutation certainly will always be the condition of living things, the term "evolution" is almost always used to describe, only with 20/20 hindsight, such a mutation that we qualify as "good". Also, barring such ephemera as "the human ego", where is the evidence that living longer is an improvement? )
    And importantly, if Evolution is your ruler, then measuring by that ruler indicates that the proper lifespan for each living entity = well.... it's current lifespan.)

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