[ExI] Are Limited Lifespans An Evolutionary Adaptation?

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sat Jun 20 09:24:10 UTC 2015

On Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 6:45 PM, rex <rex at nosyntax.net> wrote:

> Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> [2015-06-19 11:43]:
> >    On Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 12:58 PM, rex <[1]rex at nosyntax.net> wrote:
> >
> >      Impossible to tell without actual code. The main paper is paywalled,
> >      and probably doesn't have code anyway.
> >
> >    ### Well, they produced results flying in the face of reality, so
> it's a
> >    good guess they screwed up.
> How can you be sure without the numerical details? Trying to verbally
> model complex systems that have multiple positive and negative
> feedback loops and phase delays is futile, IMO. My bet/WAG is that a
> suitable quantitative sim will show what the paper claims is
> theoretically possible. If so, then it becomes a search for real
> examples which -- like group selection -- are few and far between.

### Now, you make an important point - the article itself may be formally
correct but the implications for actual biological systems, and especially
for humans, may be minuscule or absent. When I say they screwed up (which
is an educated guess on my part, not certainty), I mean they failed to
model human evolution, although they may have been quite successful at
modeling the evolution of pixels on a screen.

> >    And yes, eventually every creature would age enough to die from it,
> given
> >    protection from predators and accidents, simply because it's
> impossible to
> >    resist the second law forever.
> But what's aging "enough"? Reaction times slow, digestion efficiency
> decreases,
> muscles weaken, etc. One day something dire happens that would have been a
> near
> miss yesterday.

### An un-aged human usually does not die from internal problems, but
almost exclusively (under natural conditions) from external stressors. The
aged have a multitude of internal processes, not obviously related to any
external influences, that kill them. A deadly cancer may happen at any age
but the older you are the more likely it is.

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