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.
KeywordsAgeing Curve Selective Disadvantage Detrimental Mutation Alternative Life History Life History Style
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