Received January 10, 2012
The programmed vs. non-programmed aging controversy has now existed in some form for at least 150 years. For much of the XX century, it was almost universally believed that evolution theory prohibited programmed (adaptive) aging in mammals and there was little direct experimental or observational evidence favoring it. More recently, multiple new evolutionary mechanics concepts that support programmed aging and steadily increasing direct evidence favoring it overwhelmingly support the existence of programmed aging in humans and other organisms. This issue is important because the different theories suggest very different mechanisms for the aging process that in turn suggest very different paths toward treating and preventing age-related diseases.
KEY WORDS: aging, senescence, evolution, gerontology