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From the New York Times:

The Secret to Long Life? It May Lurk in the DNA of the Oldest Among Us

James Clement has scoured the globe for supercentenarians, aged 110 and older, willing to contribute their genomes to a rare scientific cache.

By AMY HARMON NOV. 13, 2017

Robert Heinlein’s 1941 sci-fi story “Methuselah’s Children” is about a foundation that starts out in the 19th Century arranging romantic meetings among the great-grandchildren of particularly long-lived people to eugenically engineer a family/race that will live for an extreme numbers of years by the 21st Century.

 
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  1. mobi says:

    One way to increase the lifespan of, for example, fruit flies fairly rapidly is to select for late onset / late loss of reproductive capacity in females.

    There appears to be a direct link between the timing of the female reproductive lifespan and overall lifespan.

    All else being equal, we may be watching something like this taking place before our eyes – as women increasingly delay childbirth to late-thirties and beyond, the faster-menopausers/faster-agers get left high and dry, and the next generation comes disproportionately from those mothers who were among the slowest-agers in the population – ie, those who retained fertility the latest.

    A rare bright spot to a social trend almost invariably considered disastrous by the alt-right – we’re, ever-so-slowly, selecting for longer lifespans.

    Of course, all else is unlikely to be equal, and events – both demographic and medical – are likely to overwhelm the trend.

    If there’s a true black swan lurking out there to undo the ‘Trend of the Century’ – ie, the demographic collapse of the white, Western world – it may be this. An unexpected acceleration in successful efforts to prolong ‘healthspan’. It must be coming. The question is only when. And as with a lot of technological advance, it appears to be coming, like, forever, with nothing happening – then, suddenly, it’s here.

    Imagine how that would turn so many current political/economic/demographic paradigms on their heads. The advanced, white, Western world suddenly begins to grow so fast, it risks running out of room.

    Fortunately, we do tend to control a lot of the open space on the planet still.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    A rare bright spot to a social trend almost invariably considered disastrous by the alt-right – we’re, ever-so-slowly, selecting for longer lifespans.
     
    Uh, what's so bright about that? On the cellular level that's known as cancer. Organism die and reproduce for a reason.
    , @Altai

    A rare bright spot to a social trend almost invariably considered disastrous by the alt-right – we’re, ever-so-slowly, selecting for longer lifespans.
     
    And longer generation times. Even if two populations produce the same number of children over a lifetime, the ones that do so earlier will increase in number faster in an eventually exponential fashion.

    It's just the case that right now it's hard for young people to get decent wages and a home than earlier generations. This pattern has been seen before. Believe me, allow people to become adults and they'll start homes and families about the same time as we are more accustomed.

    , @Alfa158
    " as women increasingly delay childbirth to late-thirties and beyond"
    As you said, demographics may overwhelm the trends. I don't know what neighborhood you live in, but in most of America the next generation disproportionately includes 37 year old Black and Latinx grandmothers.
    In my hometown of Whitopia, the neighbors have a lot children because Mom and Dad started relatively young when fertility is optimum. Even my grandmother on my mother's side who had her last child at 49 started early, and that last late baby was #9, not #1. I think late mothers get a lot of attention because their stories hit home with the bien pensants who read the New Yorker and Atlantic. They aren't going to have enough single designer babies to have a demographic effect.
    As Mark Steyn perfectly phrased it, " The future will belong to the people who show up for it".
    , @anonguy

    All else being equal, we may be watching something like this taking place before our eyes – as women increasingly delay childbirth to late-thirties and beyond, the faster-menopausers/faster-agers get left high and dry, and the next generation comes disproportionately from those mothers who were among the slowest-agers in the population – ie, those who retained fertility the latest.
     
    I find it very interesting that something humans take for granted - menopause in women - is almost without parallel in the animal world. Orcas and Short Finned Pilot whales have menopause.

    Anyhow, it is a weird reproductive advantage gambit that shuts down the reproductive function of an an individual but turns out it was adaptive (see the stuff about whales/orcas) for an earlier social organization.

    And as you note, it has now become maladaptive for the current social conventions and we are indeed selecting for women who can reproduce later in life, pushing back against the boundaries of menopause.

    Lots and lots of things going on right before one's eyes if one will only open them.
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  2. Enochian says:

    Now what I’d like to see is a cult practicing eugenics for achieving high intelligence – that’d make for a much more interesting story…
    I suspect what people really want is not extended old age, but extended youth (although the two are probably somewhat correlated). Maybe Clement could follow up with that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Simply collecting semen from high achievers and differentially using the submissions from those who wind up living a very long time would be cheap and easy. One could also identify families with high percentages of early deaths or disablements due to early cardiac problems or similar issues and discourage them from having children in extreme cases.

    We probably have already identified genes associated with causes of shorter lifespans in many instances, we just haven't done anything with it because that would be eugenics and therefore wrong.

    Of course, that's the fundamental problem. Once we decide good breeding is morally not only not wrong but morally mandated, a whole host of opportunities open up as do a whole raft of genuine issues. I get that. But deciding to do nothing is a decision in and of itself and a rotten one to me.

    I would not want to produce children with a high likelihood of early death or likely to need invasive and painful procedures. Just as I would not want to have children unlikely to have happy and productive lives in our society.
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  3. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Enochian
    Now what I'd like to see is a cult practicing eugenics for achieving high intelligence - that'd make for a much more interesting story...
    I suspect what people really want is not extended old age, but extended youth (although the two are probably somewhat correlated). Maybe Clement could follow up with that.

    Simply collecting semen from high achievers and differentially using the submissions from those who wind up living a very long time would be cheap and easy. One could also identify families with high percentages of early deaths or disablements due to early cardiac problems or similar issues and discourage them from having children in extreme cases.

    We probably have already identified genes associated with causes of shorter lifespans in many instances, we just haven’t done anything with it because that would be eugenics and therefore wrong.

    Of course, that’s the fundamental problem. Once we decide good breeding is morally not only not wrong but morally mandated, a whole host of opportunities open up as do a whole raft of genuine issues. I get that. But deciding to do nothing is a decision in and of itself and a rotten one to me.

    I would not want to produce children with a high likelihood of early death or likely to need invasive and painful procedures. Just as I would not want to have children unlikely to have happy and productive lives in our society.

    Read More
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  4. @mobi

    One way to increase the lifespan of, for example, fruit flies fairly rapidly is to select for late onset / late loss of reproductive capacity in females.

    There appears to be a direct link between the timing of the female reproductive lifespan and overall lifespan.
     

    All else being equal, we may be watching something like this taking place before our eyes - as women increasingly delay childbirth to late-thirties and beyond, the faster-menopausers/faster-agers get left high and dry, and the next generation comes disproportionately from those mothers who were among the slowest-agers in the population - ie, those who retained fertility the latest.

    A rare bright spot to a social trend almost invariably considered disastrous by the alt-right - we're, ever-so-slowly, selecting for longer lifespans.

    Of course, all else is unlikely to be equal, and events - both demographic and medical - are likely to overwhelm the trend.

    If there's a true black swan lurking out there to undo the 'Trend of the Century' - ie, the demographic collapse of the white, Western world - it may be this. An unexpected acceleration in successful efforts to prolong 'healthspan'. It must be coming. The question is only when. And as with a lot of technological advance, it appears to be coming, like, forever, with nothing happening - then, suddenly, it's here.

    Imagine how that would turn so many current political/economic/demographic paradigms on their heads. The advanced, white, Western world suddenly begins to grow so fast, it risks running out of room.

    Fortunately, we do tend to control a lot of the open space on the planet still.

    A rare bright spot to a social trend almost invariably considered disastrous by the alt-right – we’re, ever-so-slowly, selecting for longer lifespans.

    Uh, what’s so bright about that? On the cellular level that’s known as cancer. Organism die and reproduce for a reason.

    Read More
    • Replies: @mobi

    Uh, what’s so bright about that? On the cellular level that’s known as cancer.
     
    What's wrong with cancer?

    Organism die and reproduce for a reason.
     
    Yes - because they die and reproduce.
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  5. Clifford says:

    You people suffer from the delusion that your genes are the eugenic ones. Not a chance were I doing the choosing.

    Personally I feel sorry for those fruit flies that keep getting experimented on. What’s the world coming to when a creature can’t be small enough, harmless enough and insignificant enough not to be tormented by some jerk.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    Fruit flies deserve everything they get. They are evil incarnate.
    , @Bob who is of bad white stock
    Selection happens choosing or not. Clifford I knew Genghis, and you are no Genghis. I think we dysgenic deplorables have little to fear from your choosing.

    "Men go and come, but earth abides"
    , @bomag

    delusion that your genes are the eugenic ones
     
    I'm just going by popular opinion. Everyone who can vote with their feet seems to move next to me and want the stuff I build.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. Altai says:
    @mobi

    One way to increase the lifespan of, for example, fruit flies fairly rapidly is to select for late onset / late loss of reproductive capacity in females.

    There appears to be a direct link between the timing of the female reproductive lifespan and overall lifespan.
     

    All else being equal, we may be watching something like this taking place before our eyes - as women increasingly delay childbirth to late-thirties and beyond, the faster-menopausers/faster-agers get left high and dry, and the next generation comes disproportionately from those mothers who were among the slowest-agers in the population - ie, those who retained fertility the latest.

    A rare bright spot to a social trend almost invariably considered disastrous by the alt-right - we're, ever-so-slowly, selecting for longer lifespans.

    Of course, all else is unlikely to be equal, and events - both demographic and medical - are likely to overwhelm the trend.

    If there's a true black swan lurking out there to undo the 'Trend of the Century' - ie, the demographic collapse of the white, Western world - it may be this. An unexpected acceleration in successful efforts to prolong 'healthspan'. It must be coming. The question is only when. And as with a lot of technological advance, it appears to be coming, like, forever, with nothing happening - then, suddenly, it's here.

    Imagine how that would turn so many current political/economic/demographic paradigms on their heads. The advanced, white, Western world suddenly begins to grow so fast, it risks running out of room.

    Fortunately, we do tend to control a lot of the open space on the planet still.

    A rare bright spot to a social trend almost invariably considered disastrous by the alt-right – we’re, ever-so-slowly, selecting for longer lifespans.

    And longer generation times. Even if two populations produce the same number of children over a lifetime, the ones that do so earlier will increase in number faster in an eventually exponential fashion.

    It’s just the case that right now it’s hard for young people to get decent wages and a home than earlier generations. This pattern has been seen before. Believe me, allow people to become adults and they’ll start homes and families about the same time as we are more accustomed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AndrewR
    Eh, lots of dirt-poor people have kids. Not having "decent wages and a home" does not stop many, many people from procreating.

    Today's lowered birth rates, at least among certain classes, are mostly due to an increase in atomistic hedonism. Having children involves a lot of sacrifice in exchange for extremely-delayed*, uncertain outcomes. Not everyone is willing to take the risk of giving up their youth and wealth in order to raise children with whom they may not ever end up having a close relationship.

    *At least from my personal perspective, the true fruit of parenthood is being the parent of independent adults. While parenting a young child obviously has rewarding moments, it seems to me (as a child-free person) that the downsides of caring for young kids generally outweigh the upsides, and that it's only in the long-term that parenthood can really pay dividends, once your kids are no longer dependent on you and are having children of their own whom you can enjoy without being responsible for.

    I realize some parents would disagree with my assessment of parenting but I imagine that men would be much more likely to agree with me than women would be.

    , @Achmed E. Newman
    I agree completely on the difficulty of family formation in the terrible economy we have now (please don't let the stock market fool you, anyone). However, I think the fertility rates of white people in America, and in the developed world in general, have been down for a long time, from even when the family formation was a whole lot easier, say during the 1980's for the children of younger baby-boomer parents, for various reasons, but with feminism as number 1.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. CAL2 says:

    Heinlein always had a decent grasp on social dynamics. In Methuselah’s Children I always liked how he pointed out that just because your neighbors liked you didn’t mean you were safe from the mob. His point being that group psychology is not the sum of individual psychology.

    Anyone thinking that we have the skills to breed people like we do dogs needs to look at dogs. Yes, we’ve selected for specific traits pretty well. We’ve also created breeds that are genetically prone to all manner of debilitating traits. Breeding for X most likely will lead to all manner of unforeseen genetic problems.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bomag

    Anyone thinking that we have the skills to breed people like we do dogs needs to look at dogs. Yes, we’ve selected for specific traits pretty well. We’ve also created breeds that are genetically prone to all manner of debilitating traits. Breeding for X most likely will lead to all manner of unforeseen genetic problems.
     
    Plant and animal science has come a long ways. We are better able now to breed away from problems while keeping desirable traits.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. Scariest thing I’ve read about this was some tech billionaire working on blood transfers from young virgins or something, but that wasn’t the scary part. In fact it made me wonder if its legal to make my children give me a few ounces of their blood a week each.
    The scary part was when he got a bit too chatty and and said ” you want to know what wealth inequality really looks like, give us billionaires another hundred years”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Olorin
    Are you thinking of Sean Parker, first president of Facebook, in his Axios interview?

    Here's highlights as shared by Tucker Carlson last week. About 1:20 here, with your quote about 3:50:

    http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/11/09/tucker-carlson-will-congress-treat-facebook-social-media-dangers-tobacco-companies

    , @Colleen Pater
    yes that was it
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  9. AndrewR says:
    @Altai

    A rare bright spot to a social trend almost invariably considered disastrous by the alt-right – we’re, ever-so-slowly, selecting for longer lifespans.
     
    And longer generation times. Even if two populations produce the same number of children over a lifetime, the ones that do so earlier will increase in number faster in an eventually exponential fashion.

    It's just the case that right now it's hard for young people to get decent wages and a home than earlier generations. This pattern has been seen before. Believe me, allow people to become adults and they'll start homes and families about the same time as we are more accustomed.

    Eh, lots of dirt-poor people have kids. Not having “decent wages and a home” does not stop many, many people from procreating.

    Today’s lowered birth rates, at least among certain classes, are mostly due to an increase in atomistic hedonism. Having children involves a lot of sacrifice in exchange for extremely-delayed*, uncertain outcomes. Not everyone is willing to take the risk of giving up their youth and wealth in order to raise children with whom they may not ever end up having a close relationship.

    *At least from my personal perspective, the true fruit of parenthood is being the parent of independent adults. While parenting a young child obviously has rewarding moments, it seems to me (as a child-free person) that the downsides of caring for young kids generally outweigh the upsides, and that it’s only in the long-term that parenthood can really pay dividends, once your kids are no longer dependent on you and are having children of their own whom you can enjoy without being responsible for.

    I realize some parents would disagree with my assessment of parenting but I imagine that men would be much more likely to agree with me than women would be.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Workforlivn
    Many people count on heaven for their immortality. The poorest of the world have an actual immortality of a kind in their children.
    Homosexuals, suicide, childless - all the same in a few decades.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. Apropos of nothing:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/lists/the-last-places-on-earth-with-no-internet/

    They’re coming here for the WiFi!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  11. Alfa158 says:
    @mobi

    One way to increase the lifespan of, for example, fruit flies fairly rapidly is to select for late onset / late loss of reproductive capacity in females.

    There appears to be a direct link between the timing of the female reproductive lifespan and overall lifespan.
     

    All else being equal, we may be watching something like this taking place before our eyes - as women increasingly delay childbirth to late-thirties and beyond, the faster-menopausers/faster-agers get left high and dry, and the next generation comes disproportionately from those mothers who were among the slowest-agers in the population - ie, those who retained fertility the latest.

    A rare bright spot to a social trend almost invariably considered disastrous by the alt-right - we're, ever-so-slowly, selecting for longer lifespans.

    Of course, all else is unlikely to be equal, and events - both demographic and medical - are likely to overwhelm the trend.

    If there's a true black swan lurking out there to undo the 'Trend of the Century' - ie, the demographic collapse of the white, Western world - it may be this. An unexpected acceleration in successful efforts to prolong 'healthspan'. It must be coming. The question is only when. And as with a lot of technological advance, it appears to be coming, like, forever, with nothing happening - then, suddenly, it's here.

    Imagine how that would turn so many current political/economic/demographic paradigms on their heads. The advanced, white, Western world suddenly begins to grow so fast, it risks running out of room.

    Fortunately, we do tend to control a lot of the open space on the planet still.

    ” as women increasingly delay childbirth to late-thirties and beyond”
    As you said, demographics may overwhelm the trends. I don’t know what neighborhood you live in, but in most of America the next generation disproportionately includes 37 year old Black and Latinx grandmothers.
    In my hometown of Whitopia, the neighbors have a lot children because Mom and Dad started relatively young when fertility is optimum. Even my grandmother on my mother’s side who had her last child at 49 started early, and that last late baby was #9, not #1. I think late mothers get a lot of attention because their stories hit home with the bien pensants who read the New Yorker and Atlantic. They aren’t going to have enough single designer babies to have a demographic effect.
    As Mark Steyn perfectly phrased it, ” The future will belong to the people who show up for it”.

    Read More
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  12. @Clifford
    You people suffer from the delusion that your genes are the eugenic ones. Not a chance were I doing the choosing.


    Personally I feel sorry for those fruit flies that keep getting experimented on. What's the world coming to when a creature can't be small enough, harmless enough and insignificant enough not to be tormented by some jerk.

    Fruit flies deserve everything they get. They are evil incarnate.

    Read More
    • Replies: @DWright
    Put me in the anti fruit fly camp also.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. @Altai

    A rare bright spot to a social trend almost invariably considered disastrous by the alt-right – we’re, ever-so-slowly, selecting for longer lifespans.
     
    And longer generation times. Even if two populations produce the same number of children over a lifetime, the ones that do so earlier will increase in number faster in an eventually exponential fashion.

    It's just the case that right now it's hard for young people to get decent wages and a home than earlier generations. This pattern has been seen before. Believe me, allow people to become adults and they'll start homes and families about the same time as we are more accustomed.

    I agree completely on the difficulty of family formation in the terrible economy we have now (please don’t let the stock market fool you, anyone). However, I think the fertility rates of white people in America, and in the developed world in general, have been down for a long time, from even when the family formation was a whole lot easier, say during the 1980′s for the children of younger baby-boomer parents, for various reasons, but with feminism as number 1.

    Read More
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  14. DWright says:
    @Rosamond Vincy
    Fruit flies deserve everything they get. They are evil incarnate.

    Put me in the anti fruit fly camp also.

    Read More
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  15. anonguy says:
    @mobi

    One way to increase the lifespan of, for example, fruit flies fairly rapidly is to select for late onset / late loss of reproductive capacity in females.

    There appears to be a direct link between the timing of the female reproductive lifespan and overall lifespan.
     

    All else being equal, we may be watching something like this taking place before our eyes - as women increasingly delay childbirth to late-thirties and beyond, the faster-menopausers/faster-agers get left high and dry, and the next generation comes disproportionately from those mothers who were among the slowest-agers in the population - ie, those who retained fertility the latest.

    A rare bright spot to a social trend almost invariably considered disastrous by the alt-right - we're, ever-so-slowly, selecting for longer lifespans.

    Of course, all else is unlikely to be equal, and events - both demographic and medical - are likely to overwhelm the trend.

    If there's a true black swan lurking out there to undo the 'Trend of the Century' - ie, the demographic collapse of the white, Western world - it may be this. An unexpected acceleration in successful efforts to prolong 'healthspan'. It must be coming. The question is only when. And as with a lot of technological advance, it appears to be coming, like, forever, with nothing happening - then, suddenly, it's here.

    Imagine how that would turn so many current political/economic/demographic paradigms on their heads. The advanced, white, Western world suddenly begins to grow so fast, it risks running out of room.

    Fortunately, we do tend to control a lot of the open space on the planet still.

    All else being equal, we may be watching something like this taking place before our eyes – as women increasingly delay childbirth to late-thirties and beyond, the faster-menopausers/faster-agers get left high and dry, and the next generation comes disproportionately from those mothers who were among the slowest-agers in the population – ie, those who retained fertility the latest.

    I find it very interesting that something humans take for granted – menopause in women – is almost without parallel in the animal world. Orcas and Short Finned Pilot whales have menopause.

    Anyhow, it is a weird reproductive advantage gambit that shuts down the reproductive function of an an individual but turns out it was adaptive (see the stuff about whales/orcas) for an earlier social organization.

    And as you note, it has now become maladaptive for the current social conventions and we are indeed selecting for women who can reproduce later in life, pushing back against the boundaries of menopause.

    Lots and lots of things going on right before one’s eyes if one will only open them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @BB753
    No, you're not selecting for later menopause onset when those mothers reproducing at faster rates have their 4 or 5 children before turning 30. Do the math.
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  16. Sean says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_R._Rose

    The prediction of the antagonistic pleiotropy hypothesis was that these long-lived flies would have much lower fertility early in life. The result has been the opposite – that the long-lived flies actually lay more eggs at every stage of life. Rose explains this result in terms of an interaction between genotype and environment. The long-lived flies show other weaknesses that would make them poor competitors in the wild, and perhaps these traits are the true areas of antagonistic pleiotropy.[ '''] W. D. Hamilton advanced the idea that any gene killing an organism before it reproduced would be weeded out by natural selection. However, genes that kill later in life, after reproduction ceases, can remain in the population. For Rose, this suggests that aging is a result of “declining forces of natural selection.” He points to studies of the demographic data in large-scale fruit fly experiments and actuarial data for humans which he believes support the hypothesis that acceleration in death rates can halt in later life. According to Rose, mortality-rate plateaus have not often been noticed in humans because they are only seen in specific-age cohorts of the very old. His proposed explanation is that at a stage of life beyond the potential to reproduce, the effect of natural selection is no longer falling as it has ‘bottomed out’.

    FACT:You can increase your chances of living to 100 by fathering 3 or more children by the time you are 21, or by being born to a 16 year old mother.

    Read More
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  17. @Clifford
    You people suffer from the delusion that your genes are the eugenic ones. Not a chance were I doing the choosing.


    Personally I feel sorry for those fruit flies that keep getting experimented on. What's the world coming to when a creature can't be small enough, harmless enough and insignificant enough not to be tormented by some jerk.

    Selection happens choosing or not. Clifford I knew Genghis, and you are no Genghis. I think we dysgenic deplorables have little to fear from your choosing.

    “Men go and come, but earth abides”

    Read More
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  18. My mother turned 100 in August. She survived the Great Depression and saw her husband, my dad, three of her brothers and two brother- in- laws serving in WWII. Don’t think badly of me, but if she had passed on after her 100th birthday party, that would have been golden. I really don’t think there is much worth to living past 80. I am now 72 and I can’t imagine living another 28 years to match my mother’s life. My opinion.

    Read More
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  19. mobi says:

    W. D. Hamilton advanced the idea that any gene killing an organism before it reproduced would be weeded out by natural selection. However, genes that kill later in life, after reproduction ceases, can remain in the population. For Rose, this suggests that aging is a result of “declining forces of natural selection.”

    …His proposed explanation is that at a stage of life beyond the potential to reproduce, the effect of natural selection is no longer falling as it has ‘bottomed out’.

    Q: ‘Why do we age?’

    Michael Rose: ‘Because, after we’ve lost the ability to reproduce, natural selection can no longer act to prevent the causes of ageing’

    Q: ‘Why do we lose the ability to reproduce?’

    Michael Rose: ‘Because we age, of course!’

    (Yes, I know who he is. Still…)

    Antagonistic pleiotropy itself makes sense. ‘With or without aging, life-expectancy is limited, because of the many causes of death unrelated to health and vigor. Therefore, natural selection should favor more vigorous growth and fertility at the cost of self-preservation, as long as the resulting rate of internal decay doesn’t cripple the organism within it’s environmentally-imposed life-expectancy.’

    Lift those external constraints on survival significantly, (as with flight in birds, or brainpower in humans), and suddenly aging becomes a serious problem for reproductive fitness, and it starts to be selected against.

    Unfortunately, it tells us not much about where and how that’s happening, exactly.

    FACT:You can increase your chances of living to 100 by fathering 3 or more children by the time you are 21, or by being born to a 16 year old mother.

    And if it doesn’t actually make you live longer, at least it will feel that way!

    Read More
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  20. mobi says:
    @Desiderius

    A rare bright spot to a social trend almost invariably considered disastrous by the alt-right – we’re, ever-so-slowly, selecting for longer lifespans.
     
    Uh, what's so bright about that? On the cellular level that's known as cancer. Organism die and reproduce for a reason.

    Uh, what’s so bright about that? On the cellular level that’s known as cancer.

    What’s wrong with cancer?

    Organism die and reproduce for a reason.

    Yes – because they die and reproduce.

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    • Replies: @Desiderius

    What’s wrong with cancer?
     
    If you get your wish and live forever I suspect you'll soon find out.
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  21. BB753 says:
    @anonguy

    All else being equal, we may be watching something like this taking place before our eyes – as women increasingly delay childbirth to late-thirties and beyond, the faster-menopausers/faster-agers get left high and dry, and the next generation comes disproportionately from those mothers who were among the slowest-agers in the population – ie, those who retained fertility the latest.
     
    I find it very interesting that something humans take for granted - menopause in women - is almost without parallel in the animal world. Orcas and Short Finned Pilot whales have menopause.

    Anyhow, it is a weird reproductive advantage gambit that shuts down the reproductive function of an an individual but turns out it was adaptive (see the stuff about whales/orcas) for an earlier social organization.

    And as you note, it has now become maladaptive for the current social conventions and we are indeed selecting for women who can reproduce later in life, pushing back against the boundaries of menopause.

    Lots and lots of things going on right before one's eyes if one will only open them.

    No, you’re not selecting for later menopause onset when those mothers reproducing at faster rates have their 4 or 5 children before turning 30. Do the math.

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  22. @AndrewR
    Eh, lots of dirt-poor people have kids. Not having "decent wages and a home" does not stop many, many people from procreating.

    Today's lowered birth rates, at least among certain classes, are mostly due to an increase in atomistic hedonism. Having children involves a lot of sacrifice in exchange for extremely-delayed*, uncertain outcomes. Not everyone is willing to take the risk of giving up their youth and wealth in order to raise children with whom they may not ever end up having a close relationship.

    *At least from my personal perspective, the true fruit of parenthood is being the parent of independent adults. While parenting a young child obviously has rewarding moments, it seems to me (as a child-free person) that the downsides of caring for young kids generally outweigh the upsides, and that it's only in the long-term that parenthood can really pay dividends, once your kids are no longer dependent on you and are having children of their own whom you can enjoy without being responsible for.

    I realize some parents would disagree with my assessment of parenting but I imagine that men would be much more likely to agree with me than women would be.

    Many people count on heaven for their immortality. The poorest of the world have an actual immortality of a kind in their children.
    Homosexuals, suicide, childless – all the same in a few decades.

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  23. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    The full genetic sequences of Ms. Michelson, Mr. Harris and Ms. Morano are among some three dozen genomes of North American, Caribbean and European supercentenarians being made available this week

    Three dozen? Not serious. They would need at least couple orders of magnitude more before there is a decent chance to glean what it is that these genetic lottery winners have.

    And I am not buying the whole “they leave healthy lives past 100.” All 100 years olds that I met were crippled in some way – poor vision, hearing or mobility.

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  24. @mobi

    Uh, what’s so bright about that? On the cellular level that’s known as cancer.
     
    What's wrong with cancer?

    Organism die and reproduce for a reason.
     
    Yes - because they die and reproduce.

    What’s wrong with cancer?

    If you get your wish and live forever I suspect you’ll soon find out.

    Read More
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  25. Olorin says:
    @Colleen Pater
    Scariest thing I've read about this was some tech billionaire working on blood transfers from young virgins or something, but that wasn't the scary part. In fact it made me wonder if its legal to make my children give me a few ounces of their blood a week each.
    The scary part was when he got a bit too chatty and and said " you want to know what wealth inequality really looks like, give us billionaires another hundred years"

    Are you thinking of Sean Parker, first president of Facebook, in his Axios interview?

    Here’s highlights as shared by Tucker Carlson last week. About 1:20 here, with your quote about 3:50:

    http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/11/09/tucker-carlson-will-congress-treat-facebook-social-media-dangers-tobacco-companies

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  26. @Colleen Pater
    Scariest thing I've read about this was some tech billionaire working on blood transfers from young virgins or something, but that wasn't the scary part. In fact it made me wonder if its legal to make my children give me a few ounces of their blood a week each.
    The scary part was when he got a bit too chatty and and said " you want to know what wealth inequality really looks like, give us billionaires another hundred years"

    yes that was it

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  27. bomag says:
    @Clifford
    You people suffer from the delusion that your genes are the eugenic ones. Not a chance were I doing the choosing.


    Personally I feel sorry for those fruit flies that keep getting experimented on. What's the world coming to when a creature can't be small enough, harmless enough and insignificant enough not to be tormented by some jerk.

    delusion that your genes are the eugenic ones

    I’m just going by popular opinion. Everyone who can vote with their feet seems to move next to me and want the stuff I build.

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  28. bomag says:
    @CAL2
    Heinlein always had a decent grasp on social dynamics. In Methuselah's Children I always liked how he pointed out that just because your neighbors liked you didn't mean you were safe from the mob. His point being that group psychology is not the sum of individual psychology.

    Anyone thinking that we have the skills to breed people like we do dogs needs to look at dogs. Yes, we've selected for specific traits pretty well. We've also created breeds that are genetically prone to all manner of debilitating traits. Breeding for X most likely will lead to all manner of unforeseen genetic problems.

    Anyone thinking that we have the skills to breed people like we do dogs needs to look at dogs. Yes, we’ve selected for specific traits pretty well. We’ve also created breeds that are genetically prone to all manner of debilitating traits. Breeding for X most likely will lead to all manner of unforeseen genetic problems.

    Plant and animal science has come a long ways. We are better able now to breed away from problems while keeping desirable traits.

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