Re: Why are we allowed to age?
Thu, 12 Jun 1997 19:11:40 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 6/12/97 2:47:35 PM, Robin Hanson wrote:

>Hal Finney writes:
>>Is it just that the genes can't do any better, that despite their best
>>efforts, errors and waste accumulate and the cells just don't work
>>as well? Why then are egg cells kept so fresh and clean generation
>>after generation?
>Maybe its very expensive to keep stuff this clean. Its worth doing
>for a few eggs, but not for the whole body?

Meiosis and recombination, which are performed only in the process of sexual
reproduction, also allow repairing certain kinds of DNA damage that can't be
fixed in normal replication. It would be very complicated for the rest of
the body to reproduce meiotically, to put it mildly.