[life] A Lease On Life — the Guardian looks at human longevity… ‘In theory, evolution could have come up with a different design, a human who reached sexual maturity decades later, or who went on having children for longer. But then the sabre-tooth factor kicks in. In mankind’s hunter-gatherer days, the chances were that something would kill you before you reached your mid-30s. It might have been famine, or murder, or a predator, or a nasty bacterium. There would have been no evolutionary point in having a man or woman who was in their physical prime at 70, if they had only a million-to-one chance of surviving violence and illness for that long. We’re a bit like cars. Maybe you could design and build a car that would last 1,000 years. But why would you, if the cars cost a billion pounds each, and were 99% likely to be destroyed in an accident in half that time?’
This entry was posted on Saturday, June 30th, 2001 at 9:59 am and is filed under Science.