Programmed Theory

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Programmed theory is a sub theory under biologic theories and nonstochastic theories. Nonstochastic theories hypothesize aging as a planned, timed occurrence. Since the body constituently repairs and replaces cells, it would be assumed that we would never age. With programmed theory aging is based on evolution and programmed gene or genes to age and die. How does programmed theory assume the “age” at which our body begins to wear out and eventually quit? The basis is a gene or genes that allow the body to reach it max potential, to then reproduce and raise offspring, then use less energy and die. Basically our cells reach an age flip a switch and start to mutate or simply work less efficiently. This theory is founded on the basis that in most species there is an average age at which they die and with a few exceptions this doesn’t deviate. To try and break it down I will run through the life span of a human. When a child is born it has specific genes. Those genes tell the cells in the body how tall to grow, color of hair, when to start puberty, etc. These cells will continue to reproduce, duplicate, and replace themselves. When the body reaches its max potential it is time for the human to reproduce. As the offspring get older, and the human body is no longer needed as much to care for the offspring. The cells of the body start to become less efficient mutate, possibly not even replicating any more, and then followed by death. The genes that were passed down from parent to child, long before the child was born, dictated aging and death. This is based on an “evolutionarily stable strategy” for a life span. There is no need for a longer life span. The offspring have been raised and could survive on their own. With that, even if there were a mutation in the gene or genes the life span would not increase, because there is not a need to. In conclusion, programmed theory is just as its name. We are programmed by our genes to grow, be


References: Bengtson, V., Silverstein, M., Putney, N., & Gans , D. (2008). Handbook of Theories of Aging. (2nd ed.). New York: Springer Publishing Company.

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