Introduction to the Growth Process (Cont'd)
The regeneration process, which the Hypothesis defines to be the “Growth Process,” is the critical missing link in the life sciences. We are genetically programmed to function perfectly, but the degree to which a human's phenotype varies from her genetic potential is determined by a balance between the forces of entropy and the Growth Process. The medical establishment has only acknowledged one half of that equation. Efforts to prevent or remedy chronic degenerative disease have focused solely on controlling the risk factors that tend to hasten the entropy process. Examples include smoking, overeating, pollution and stress. The other half of the equation is both more important and more controllable. Cellular death and the related damage resulting from the replacement of dead cells is an immutable force of nature. It cannot be avoided or halted. The Growth Process is something that we can activate and control at will.
All chronic degenerative disorders are caused by the failure to activate the Growth Process. Healthy people of any age can and do activate the Growth Process on a regular basis. Activating the Growth Process ensures that those people are constantly repairing damage and getting closer to their genetic potential. Unfortunately, the vast majority of older humans activate the Growth Process rarely, if at all.
All academicians accept the premise that there is a process whereby a fertilized egg ultimately becomes a fully functioning adult. The genetically programmed imperative that we conform to our genetic programming is inextricably intertwined with that process. In the elegant words of the SENS Research Foundation website:
“During our first two to three decades of life, developmental programs build out our growing bodies, laying down the cellular and molecular structures of our tissues in exquisite fidelity to the instructions carried in our genetic code. From form flows function: the pristine condition of the microscopic machinery of life ensures its silent, unimpeded functioning, manifested in the health and vigor of youth.”
Scientists assume that either the Growth Process is nothing more than the genetic instructions themselves, or that the Growth Process terminates once we achieve our maximum height or reproductive maturity. The Hypothesis posits that the Growth Process is a separate and distinct bodily function that occurs only when activated and involves dramatic changes in body chemistry. Like the healing process (and every other bodily function), it will be adversely affected by FDS. Older people who suffer from acute FDS heal more slowly than people who do not suffer from FDS. Similarly, older people who suffer from acute FDS lose some of the functionality of the Growth Process. But there is no abrupt termination of any bodily process, including the Growth Process. The Growth Process is genetically programmed to operate whenever activated throughout our lifespans. We don’t stop getting taller because the Growth Process terminates. Our final height is determined by the fusing of the relevant bones in a manner that makes further lengthening of those bones impossible.
The Growth Process involves the complex interaction of dozens of different substances. It is very metabolically demanding. Many of the substances involved in the process cannot act in the absence of others, and some are harmful if not metabolized quickly. The process is incompatible with homeostasis. Thus it must be triggered by a particular stimulus, occur quickly, and the proportions of the substances involved in the process must be regulated. The stimulus that activates the Growth Process is Complex X.
Throughout evolutionary history, all wild animals, including the precursors to humans, synthesized Complex X on a frequent basis, thus ensuring the regular activation of the Growth Process. In that normal environment, phenotype matches genotype. The constant activation of the Growth Process ensured that the organisms would regenerate in conformance with their original genetic instructions, thus maintaining complete functionality. Unlike wild animals, humans can make a behavioral choice not to engage in the activity that synthesizes Complex X, thus modifying the normal environment. That choice not to synthesize Complex X results in the failure to activate the Growth Process.
In order for humans to maintain optimal functionality, we must activate the Growth Process so that it can counteract the forces of entropy. In the absence of the Growth Process, entropy prevails and the result is FDS.