In a message dated 12/10/98 5:03:11 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
>is no reason for it to have just a single cause, it could turn out
>that increasing lifespan might have to jump through one hurdle after
>another - first decrease the risk of infectious disease, then
>cardiovascular disease, then fix metabolic aging, then the telomeres,
>then fix the increased cancer risk, then fix long-term neural and
>psychological changes, ... ad infinitum)
Assuming that aging is the result of many independent causes facing selection is, so far, the only one that generates the Gompertz curve. Single-cause aging predicts different survival curves, which don't match those of real biological populations. They do often match those of devices and of patients with terminal illnesses.