An Optimality Approach to Ageing
Medawar and Williams’ partially predictive approach to ageing can be turned into a predictive theory. A recently found new ageing formula allows interpretation in terms of an optimality criterion: “Minimize competition with offspring.” A fixed-point problem in function space results. If nature complies, two new open questions arise: (1) Identification of the evolutionarily stable mechanism which ensures selection for the new trait; and (2) identification of the physiological mechanism which enables statistical adherence to the new law on the level of the individual.
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