They did not find the grail

CHRISTOPHER SWAINSON cs132 at york.ac.uk
Mon Jan 27 08:39:23 EST 1997

Ok heres an argument as to why the aging phenomena can not be slowed to 
any extensive degree.
  If a gene had occured in any multicelled organism which coded for 
eternal youth and eternal reproductive status it would quickly 
proliferate through out life in the same way that genes coding for sexual 
reproduction have proliferated.
  However as individual cells age they become worn out and cease to 
function as well as younger cells.  Thus the organism as a whole ages.  
What nature has not evolved is an organism that keeps replacing all the 
older cells with new ones.  However what nature has been able to do is to 
ensure that old, worn out organisms die after reproducing and raising 
offspring, by means of a built in stopclock, so as not to cause specific 
competition with offspring that are potentially capable of more 
reproduction. To put it another way genes coding for death have occured 
and proliferated.
  My argument therefor is, if you jam this stopclock the organism will  
still get old and die.  Ok it may live a little longer but immortality is 
totally out of the question.  Remember that if evolution was unable to 
find a way to make immortal organisms which can reproduce forever what 
chance do we stand?     

Chris Swainson (genetics undergraduate)

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