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Competition between ages who age and those who do not.

For about a century, most scientists though aging could not have an evolutionary origin. Senescence harms the individual and that would drive aging versions of a species to extinction.

But that is a mean-field argument. It considers all competitors competing against everyone else all the time. Add a spatial landscape and organisms will compete more often against those they are born near. In this scenario, mortals can adapt to changes faster and this can give them the edge they need to survive. Even more, senescence allows for faster evolvability.

We need to learn more, but aging might have evolved as an adaptation, after all. Indeed, the search for a single explanation might be wrong, and senescence might have revolved for several reasons, including as the influence of traits that we learn and can not pass through our genes.

Aging on “Through the Wormhole”

My model starts around 18:40 and there are a few imprecise comments. Still, the whole episode is worth watching.