Re: Cornering the causes of aging (was Re: AGING: Accumulation of DNAdamage)

Date: Wed Jul 05 2000 - 08:40:59 MDT

In a message dated 7/1/00 10:32:34 PM, writes:

>and (ii)
>>the negative benefits of loading the genepool with archaic combinationsin
>>the face of rapid environmental change....

>Nicely put. Wish you had been available twenty years ago to debate the then
>gurus of life extension. This was also W. Donner Denkla's position, BTW,
>but the problem was that the prior generations couldn't think very well in
>terms of "systems." They refused to see beyond the genetic driving force of
>the individual survival. Thus, they utterly rejected out-of-hand any
>arguments for the existence of a "death gene," or "aging clock."

You misunderstand how biologists came to the conclusion. The effects of
selection other than individual survival were considered carefully, and
found to be negligible compared to individual survival. In addition,
an "aging clock" is equally disadvantageous to a group; since it entails
direct reproductive loss (death of perfectly functional individuals)
the group is at a serious disadvantage compered to groups that don't
off perfectly serviceable individuals. "Archaic" gene combinations
aren't generally bad - in the case of stabilizing selection, genetic
drift, and fast fluctuating selection, they are better. In any case,
old individuals with bad genes will be dead anyway; continued survival
is an excellent demonstration of quality.

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