Re: Why are we allowed to age?
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 22:24:03 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 6/10/97 6:19:22 PM, (Joao
Pedro) wrote:

>I would like to know your opinion about why are we allowed to age? Why,
>after millions of years of evolution, we still age?
>Following the darwinist concept of evolution, surely a trait that would
>allow one individual to live longer than the others would be favoured.
>Indiduals with these trait would produce more offspring and therefore
>the trait would soon be present in the general population.

The trait would be advantageous *only* if it carried no disadvantages. The
general idea is that almost every mutation that come up for humans that would
extend life carries some disadvantage - stricter dietary requirement, delayed
puberty, greater chance of death by disease, etc. Those that help, we do
have, and that's why we live decades rather than minutes.

It may also be that extended life is a disadvantage in and of itself by
slowing adaption to parasites and diseases.