Stopping/Prevention of Aging

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Aubrey de Grey overview of aging brings to the fore the most debated conundrum of our times on which is less or more important between trying to stop aging and engaging preventive aging. Before dissecting the question, it is important to have the most accepted definition of aging that put most of the dynamics of aging into consideration. Finkel & Holbrook (2010) defines aging as a deterioration of adaptation that comes with increasing age, caused by time dependent deterioration of Hamilton’s forces of natural selection. It is a definition that is consistent with Darwinism theories of survival. This definition has linkage with question whether it is more or less important to stop aging rather than engage on preventive aging (Fontana  & Longo, 2010). 

Basing on Aubrey de Grey interview and definition aging, it is arguable that preventive aging is by far more important than stop aging (Carter, 2012). The overview given by Grey is suggestive that there has been threefold conceptual approach that has not settled the conundrum. The first approach was associating diseases that commonly came at advanced age such as cancer and dementia with aging but it failed. The failure can be adduced to the definition of aging by Finkel & Holbrook (2010) where body becomes weak to an extend it cannot adapt to Hamilton’s forces of natural selection. 

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Second attempt to stop aging was according to the overview of Aubrey de Grey was to transfer the knowledge where some species live longer than others to human being which also failed to deliver. This is an attempt that is not in agreement when compared with the description of aging by Finkel & Holbrook (2010) which calls for preventive aging that will boost the capability of body in adapting against the Hamilton’s forces of natural selection. The last attempt posited by Aubrey de Grey in the overview and is consistent with description of aging by Finkel & Holbrook (2010) lead to the conclusion that preventive aging is more important than stopping aging is through removal of the precursor of diseases such as metabolites that enhances aging. It is therefore arguably agreeable that engaging preventive aging has positive impact on the human life span and preventing the early establishment of diseases of old age than stopping aging which is not feasible.

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  1. Christy Carter (2012) Chatting with Aubrey de Grey (Moving Picture: You tube)
  2. Finkel, T., & Holbrook, N. J. (2010). Oxidants, oxidative stress and the biology of ageing. Nature, 408(6809), 239–247.
  3. Fontana, L., Partridge, L., & Longo, V. D. (2010). Extending Healthy Life Span—From Yeast to Humans. Science, 328(5976), 321–326. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1172539
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