Longevity is the worst that could happen

A topic that turns up repeatedly on the Internet and causes great excitement is some sort of anti-ageing discovery. It would, of course, be a disaster if it were true. Almost every new idea that man has come up with has been created by very rare individuals — and under 30 years of age to boot.  By that age — about 25 years in the case of women — the frontal lobes are almost fully developed with little space for new networks.

An ageing population, even if superbly fit, would gradually seize up for lack of ability to deal with problems as they arise. If longevity were prolonged for more than only a few years longer than it takes for the next generation to reach their maximum capabilities, then evolution would have adopted this strategy billions of hears ago.

Instead, in what appears to be a pursuit of higher intelligence somewhere in the system, evolution has chosen mutations to be bearers of new ideas and practices. What we have, in fact, is a mutation race between archea, viruses, bacteria, fungi, plants and animals. Some mutations are killers, some are enhancers. Within the constraints of life as a whole on earth the more that mutational battles are fought and won the better — and in as short lifetimes as possible for gains to be passed on.

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