Re: longevity

J. R. Molloy (
Fri, 19 Nov 1999 22:21:37 -0800

Patrick Wilken wrote,
>Its more likely that evolution does not select for genes
>that will slow aging if its likely that the
>individual will die early for unrelated causes.
>Metabolic rate is a reasonable first indicator for how
>a particular species will live, but species with similar
>metabolic rates age at different rates depending on their
>survival chances.

Okay, so evolution invests in genetically-related longevity only when a species has a survival rate high enough to justify such a genetic configuration. Rather than giving short-lived animals any kind of evolutionary advantage, this simply shows that evolution doesn't waste goodies on organisms that don't get a chance to use them. I think I've got it now, thanks.

>The argument being that evolution will
>select for longevity as soon as the individual is likely
>to survive to a point where slower aging is worthwhile.
>Its quite possible that our greatly reduced rate of aging
>relative to chimpanzees is a direct result of our greatly
>increased chances of survival (due to our smarts) allowing
>anti-aging genes to be selected for.

Nice explanation. May you live in eternity's sunrise. --J. R.