Re: Why are we allowed to age?

Eric Watt Forste (
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 17:56:34 -0700

Joao Pedro asks:
> I would like to know your opinion about why are we allowed to age?
> Why, after millions of years of evolution, we still age?

I'm not a real biologist and I don't even play one on TV, but our
genes don't give a damn if we age, as long as *they* keep going.
>From the gene's point of view, the biological struggle between the
generations is very real, and once Mom and Pop have done a good
job of getting the tyrannical little genes into young Boomer, then
as far as the gene is concerned, goodbye Mom and Pop! Especially
if they're competing with young Boomer for foraging territory.

The gene follows John K. Clark's theory of identity to a tee: one
copy is as good as any other, and a copy in a young hale-and-hearty
organism is a better bet for immortality than the copies in Mom
and Pop.

(I shouldn't cite John K. Clark's theory of identity when explaining
something to someone new to the list, but I'm sure he'll be happy
to elucidate. Chalk it up to my intellectual orneriness.)

Eric Watt Forste ++ ++ expectation foils perception -pcd