"Black box" kills old people?

Steve Chambers steve at chambers.ak.planet.co.nz
Sat Mar 11 00:25:50 EST 1995

I'm just reviewing "How and Why We Age" by Leonard Hayflick.  In
Chapter 4 he argues that:

  diseases associated with old age are NOT part of the normal aging
  process ... diseases, unlike aging, are not normal.

later he says:

  The cause of death in old people is a mysterious "black box."
  Usually some standard cause of death is chosen from an approved 
  list in order to comply with legal requirements.

Please forgive my impudence, I know LH is one of the giants of 
gerontology, but this comment seems like a desperate attempt to stitch 
up a paradigm of aging that is falling apart at the seams.

I see his problem.  If the diseases of age are not aging then one can
only conclude that (without this mysterious black box) nobody ever dies 
of old age!  

LH and those of similar thinking are in danger of defining themselves out
of a job. 

Who amongst you shall be their champion?


(I_lurk,_therefore_I_am!_\ ,,,                    Steve Chambers
                          (o o)   steve at chambers.ak.planet.co.nz

More information about the Ageing mailing list