Dysfunctionality is Not Inevitable
The Institute was formed and the Hypothesis was developed in order to explain a phenomenon that is completely at odds with conventional thinking. The founder of the Institute realized that he, and thousands of people like him - men and women in their 50s and 60s - are not suffering the infirmities of aging. On the contrary, they are getting healthier and stronger with each passing year.
They haven’t “reversed aging.” They still show many of the cosmetic effects of the passage of time – grey hair and a few wrinkles. Many scientists will tell you that aging is a singular phenomenon; one can’t restore functionality without also correcting the cosmetic effects. But that’s no different from saying you can’t have an effective “anti-aging” skin cream unless it also cures osteoporosis and dementia.
Why is this phenomenon just appearing now? Because high intensity physical activity is a very new experience, especially for older humans. For these purposes the term “high intensity” has a very specific meaning. It does not mean long distance running or other traditional cardiovascular exercise. Nor does it mean traditional resistance training. It means exercise at a level of intensity that causes the levels of a specific set of chemicals (“Complex X”) in the bloodstream to increase.
High intensity exercise is now a common modality for young, elite athletes seeking to improve athletic performance, but it is still a rarity for older people. The founder is one of the first older humans to have engaged in regular intense physical activity for an extended period of time. And he is the first to examine the full implications of the changes wrought by that exercise.
Why does everyone believe that the loss of function with age is inevitable? In natural science, if something is inevitable, there is a scientific theory that explains why it is inevitable. A theory is a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature. For example, apples always fall from trees to the ground. We have a theory that explains why that is inevitable – the Theory of Gravity. It’s the theory, rather than a set of observations, that allows us to predict with confidence that the next apple will also fall to the ground.
With the aging process, there is no generally accepted theory. All we have are observations. We’ve observed that historically everyone loses functionality as they age. But we don’t know why. Since we don’t know why, we can’t be certain that the next human will lose functionality with age.
Take polar bears for example. Every polar bear that we've seen is white. We attribute that to evolution. Being white provides a polar bear with an evolutionary advantage. The question then becomes, how does losing functionality with age provide an evolutionary advantage to humans? It doesn't. The cellular damage that results in the loss of function commences in the average humans while he or she is still in their 20s. It's that cellular damage that is relevant for purposes of the Theory of Evolution. Most explanations for the aging process focus on the time period decades later when a chronic degenerative disease is finally recognized by the medical establishment. There is no possible way that the loss of functionality that starts to appear in our 20s could provide an evolutionary advantage. The Theory of Evolution predicts that humans should not lose functionality as they age.
That’s why the experiences of the founder and the thousands of other older people who are getting healthier and stronger as they age are so significant. They are not violating any law of nature or contradicting any established scientific theory. They just represent a new set of observations. And those observations validate the prediction made by the Theory of Evolution.
But those observations are just observations. That’s where the Hypothesis comes into play. The Hypothesis explains exactly what it is about high intensity exercise that allows older people to improve functionality across multiple modalities. It answers the question why.
Whenever healthy humans exercise at a level of intensity sufficient to raise blood levels of Complex X, the Complex X activates a cascade of other substances that are associated with growth and rejuvenation. The Hypothesis labels that process the “Growth Process.” The Growth Process is an improved version of the maintenance process that is predicted by the Theory of Evolution. Much of the Hypothesis, and much of this website, is devoted to explaining the Growth Process.
Regular intense physical activity is rare for modern human adults. But it was an absolute given for all animals, including the precursors to humans, during all periods of time that are relevant for evolutionary purposes. Intense physical activity, and the Complex X that results from that activity, is as much a part of the normal human environment as is air, food and sunlight. Removing that critical aspect of the environment results in a huge deviation between phenotype and genotype. We are genetically designed to function perfectly throughout our lifespans. But in the absence of intense physical activity, we do not activate the Growth Process and thus we suffer from the infirmities that are associated with aging.
Those infirmities are far from inevitable. In fact they are a disorder. Fortunately, the disorder can be corrected. As the founder and thousands of others have already experienced, regular intense physical activity will reverse the infirmities of aging. For those who are unable or unwilling to engage in regular intense exercise, medical technology can devise alternative means of raising blood levels of Complex X, thereby activating the Growth Process and eliminating the infirmities.
"Intense exercise" is qualitatively different from traditional "cardio" or resistance training.
The Theory of Evolution predicts that humans should have a maintenance process that prevents the infirmities of aging.
Only in the last few years have we developed any information about the effects of intense exercise on older humans
Humans are genetically designed to function perfectly throughout their lifespans.
All current hypotheses that purport to explain the aging process merely describe symptoms of FDS and are riddled with anomalies.
"When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?"
John Maynard Keynes