Biochemistry (Moscow)

, Volume 77, Issue 7, pp 729–732 | Cite as

On the programmed/non-programmed aging controversy

  • T. C. Goldsmith


The programmed vs. non-programmed aging controversy has now existed in some form for at least 150 years. For much of the XX century, it was almost universally believed that evolution theory prohibited programmed (adaptive) aging in mammals and there was little direct experimental or observational evidence favoring it. More recently, multiple new evolutionary mechanics concepts that support programmed aging and steadily increasing direct evidence favoring it overwhelmingly support the existence of programmed aging in humans and other organisms. This issue is important because the different theories suggest very different mechanisms for the aging process that in turn suggest very different paths toward treating and preventing age-related diseases.

Key words

aging senescence evolution gerontology 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Medawar, P. (1952) An Unsolved Problem of Biology, H.K. Lewis & Co., London.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Williams, G. (1957) Evolution, 11, 398–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kirkwood, T., and Holliday, R. (1979) Proc. Roy. Soc. London B, 205, 531–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Goldsmith, T. (2011) Aging by Design, Azinet Press, Annapolis, ISBN 0-9788709-3-X.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wynne-Edwards, V. (1962) Animal Dispersion in Relation to Social Behaviour, Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hamilton, W. (1964) J. Theor. Biol., 7, 1–16.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dawkins, R. (1976) The Selfish Gene, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-286092-5.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wagner, G. (1996) Evolution, 50, 967–976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mitteldorf, J. (2004) Evol. Ecol. Res., 6, 1–17.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Libertini, G. (1988) J. Theor. Biol., 132, 145–162.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Goldsmith, T. (2008) J. Theor. Biol., 252, 764–768.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Skulachev, V. (1997) Biochemistry (Moscow), 62, 1191–1195.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Olshansky, S., Hayflick, L., and Carnes, B. (2004) Scientific American.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kirkwood, T., and Melov, S. (2011) Curr. Biol., 21, R701–R707.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Azinet LLCCrownsvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations