Why do we get old? Why do we have to die? These questions have been one of the great challenges of humanity. We can see it in the religions, which have created different justifications for death; or in the large number of legends about a Fountain of Youth. We cannot explain what aging is without resorting to the concept of evolution. As the geneticist Theodore Dobzhansky put it, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” A stage in the shadow of natural selection The basic mechanism with which evolution acts to cause changes in organisms is called natural selection : the different characteristics that individuals of the same species present will define their probability to reproduce and survive, causing the characters to adapt to

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the environment where they live. That is, the species will try to preserve the traits of the individuals that favor their survival. If selection wants to guarantee the reproduction and survival of the Venezuela Phone Number List species, why does death still exist? And what about old age, which is apparently of no benefit? The answer is simple: it is beyond the capacities of the species to avoid their death 1 . Your explanation, however, needs a little more detail. Let’s look at nature: the cause of death of the vast majority of individuals is totally alien to themselves. It can be due to predators, pathogen infections, or even accidents. This is known as extrinsic mortality . This mortality establishes a period in the life of a species, youth, where the vast majority of individuals have a high

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probability of being alive and, therefore, their reproductive stage is centered there. The resources that we have to live are limited: we acquire a certain amount and we must distribute them according to our needs. There is a compromise between the maintenance of the body and reproduction 2 . If we dedicate everything so that our body lasts many years, the resources that we have left to reproduce ourselves diminish. And vice versa. Because of this commitment, we focus our resources for reproduction in the first period of life, where it is very likely that we are alive. This is how we make sure we pass our genes on to our descendants. After this period passes, the body is no longer ready for survival. It is as if we have done a sprint and aging is

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