Re: Why are we allowed to age?

Dan Hook (
Fri, 13 Jun 1997 23:35:35 -0400

Actually, that is probably wrong. A person can affect the survival of
their genes after reproducing by assisting the young. Menopause actually
occurs regularly in primitive human societies (in other words, women live
that long). Fertility is already in decline by that period (probably due
to other agents already discussed) so being able to give birth would not
result in a great success for the genes. Keeping the elder females around
to help with gathering (they are at least as efficient and sometimes more
so than their younger counterparts, possibly because those of reproductive
age try to reserve energy for reproduction) and to store knowledge does
help the genes. Keep in mind that in a tribe most people are related. It
is a fallacy to think that genes don't "care" about a person after they
have reproduced. Genes care about a person as long as the existence of
that person is a benefit to the genes.

Dan Hook
> From: Mark Grant <>
> I like Dawkins' explanation; fatal genes which kill us after the point
> where reproduction stops but which have no detrimental effect before that
> point will not be evolved out, which means that on average we won't live
> too much longer than the upper reproductive age of human females.