why do we die?

Andrew J. Roger aroger at ac.dal.ca
Fri Oct 27 10:36:35 EST 1995


How about the idea (I think maybe a more sophisticated
treatment of this was offered by one of the other
posters) that genes which have been selected to
optimize reproductive potential in the reproductive
years (for females for example) can cause deleterious
consequences in the non-reproductive years.  For instance
if there were a hormone whose production in reproductive
years increased fertility but in later life caused a 
predisposition for cancer- this gene would be selected
because of its fertility-conferring powers during
a reproductive phase of life and the negative selection
would be minimal-- it only causes death when the
organism has no reproductive potential at all (say
post-menopause in women).  

I think Dawkins says something like this in
the "The Selfish Gene."

Cheers
Andrew J. Roger
aroger at ac.dal.ca





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