Aging is a Group-Selected Adaptation

Theory, Evidence, Medical Implications
Joshua Mitteldorf

I look forward to this book. I have never found categorical arguments against group selections very convincing.

L 95: “Most prevailing theories are based on explicit assumptions about constraints that force natural selection to accept shorter lifespans when longer ones would support higher individual fitness.”
I have assumed regarding advanced primates, that old age is a group selection adaptation to enable more faithful transmission of knowledge. Perhaps parental aid is more due to “close kin selection”. Old men telling stories, seems, however, to only be a group selection thing. This revolves around the question “What is adaptive about life beyond the reproductive age?”.

L 371: “standard population genetic theory”; This needs a link.

L 515: Teleological Language: Good note! Such translations are helpful.

L 814: There is a related mystery that would well to introduce: Why do many species, especially humans, live so long beyond reproductive age. Care of offspring accounts for some of that. He raises the issue at L: 1360.

L 898: I am with Blagosklonny.

L 1206: This book is really addressed to the professional biologist. If Mittledorf made half as many errors as he ascribes to others he could, I suspect, carry out his plan for the book. I don’t claim that he does but a non specialist, like me, is unlikely to catch such errors. Still I enjoy reading the book for its reasoning, regardless of my inability to check the facts. I look forward to reading responses from biologists to the book.

L 1292:

The story I heard is that 17 is a prime and predators that have not learned to sleep so long cannot get in sync by sleeping some number of years that divides 17. The cicada may have predators but not predators that specialize on cicadas. Periods of other such insects are usually prime.

L 1602: The planaria story is fascinating. It is as if there were one real parameter driving gene expression and the parameter is not a monotonic function of time.

L 2080:

Theory demands no repair mechanism even for highly conserved genes. “Survival of the fittest” is perfectly sufficient.

Until the mechanisms of “DNA repair machinery” is elucidated there remains ample room for many possible explanations.

2082/6510 Aubrey deGrey doubts