Aging is an adaptation to the enviorment

We do not age for the same reason cars wear out. Unlike cars, our bodies have the ability to repair themselves, and there is no reason our bodies cannot repair themselves indefinitely. 

Basic Argument

Some of an organism's characteristics are adaptations to the environment, and some of an organism's characteristics are maladaptations that have not yet killed the species. Most, however, lie somewhere in between these two poles of evolutionary relevance. 

 

The longer the period of time that a trait is evolutionarily conserved, the less likely it is that the trait is a maladaptation. The same genes that affect longevity in worms affect longevity in flies and mice and whales and elephants. Thus, aging is heavily evolutionarily conserved.

 

Furthermore, we know that aging is indeed relevant to evolutionary survival as changes in temperature, resources, and fertility have drastic affects on lifespans in worms and flies. Thus, the rate of aging adapts to the environment. 

This is rejected since it implies group selection, which has been discredited. However, theoretical rejections of group selection are in my opinion not well founded. Furthermore, group selection is the best explanation for the programmed self destruction in cicadas, octopuses, Pacific salmon, sepsis, and in the explanation of eusocial animals. 

Death Valley

Implications 

The body has an aging clock. Research should focus on slowing down this clock or, if possible, reversing it. 

 

This is in contrast to most aging research, which is focused on clearing damage. In fact, although there are thousands of pathways in which damage accumulates in the human body, there are only about ten damage accumulations that are researched as causative of the exponential increase in human mortality. However, there has been little evidence that clearing any of the damage accumulations leads to an increase in maximal lifespan. 

 

Suggested research programs

     mimic the transcriptome of young bodies

     partial reprogramming

     blood borne factors