Age Matters in Evolutionary Mismatch
April 15, 2012
Academic Building A G008, 5:00 PM
Experimental evolutionists are not generally impressed with “Environment of Ancestral Adaptation” arguments, because they find that outbred, sexual, laboratory populations adapt readily to novel environments over 100 generations or less. But this point of view only applies to characters that are subject to strong selection, such as early-life components of Darwinian fitness. At later adult ages, Hamilton’s Forces of Natural Selection diminish, weakening natural selection, and thus extending the amount of time required for selection to produce adaptation to a novel environment. Thus human populations are probably reasonably adapted to agricultural foods and lifestyles at early ages, but not later ages. Data from Drosophila experimental evolution will be used to address the validity of this extended Hamiltonian approach to age-dependent evolutionary mismatch.
Michael R. Rose’s 1991 book Evolutionary Biology of Aging offered a view of aging that was a complete departure from the views that had dominated the aging field since 1960. In 1997, Rose was awarded the Busse Research Prize by the World Congress of Gerontology. In 2004, he published a technical summary of his work on the postponement of aging in Drosophila, Methuselah Flies, followed by a 2005 popular book, The Long Tomorrow. His most recent book, with L.D. Mueller and C.L. Rauser, is 2011’s Does Aging Stop? He is currently a Professor at the University of California, Irvine.
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