Does aging happen by chance? Is aging breaking down of an organism till latter eventually stops working?
According to Valter Longo’s latest research, which was published in September 27 edition of Journal of Cell Biology, aging is a programmed process. For Longo’s part, aging is supposed to ensure premature death of majority of a population.
The dead will then consequently provide nutrients for sake of a few individuals who have acquired genetic mutations. (Think of yeast rather than big complex mammals.) These mutants are more adapted to their environment than other ‘normal’ organisms. Therefore these ‘sacrificial’ deaths increase chances of reproduction of mutants as latter will have more nutrients to feed on.
Now Charles Darwin may not be very happy with Longo’s theory. Darwin’s natural selection happens at individual level. The better suited to its environment an organism is, more probable that it will reproduce. This ensures that species changes or evolves over time as such type of reproduction brings genetic changes to offsprings. This makes offsprings more adapted to their ever-changing environment.
Longo’s theory however rests on group selection theory. Many scientists think that this theory is incorrect. The latter proposes that selection happens not at individual level but at group level instead.