The Institute's Philosophy (cont'd)
Our genetic blueprints were developed over an immense period of time – in excess of a billion years. Unlike a blueprint created by an architect on a clean sheet of paper, our genetic blueprints are the result of evolution picking and choosing among billions of random mutations or add-ons. The final result is far more complex than an architect would develop from scratch. Evolution is a tinkerer that rarely throws out a feature or process that works. That add-on approach often makes it difficult for us to understand what is really going on. But if the Theory of Evolution is valid, then natural selection will not result in human traits or processes that are irrational or inefficient. Thus the Institute's philosophical approach is that if a human process appears to be irrational or inefficient, that just means that we don't understand the process.
Evolution, having had a billion years of trial and error to develop the ultimate genetic blueprint for the human being, is far smarter than we’ll ever be. Natural selection works by selecting traits that enhance the probability of an organism surviving and reproducing. Other researchers see that everyone on the planet suffers from FDS, so they assume that chronic degenerative diseases are the result of evolutionary spite or neglect. The Institute has a different point of view. The Theory of Evolution predicts that humans should have a maintenance process that would prevent FDS, because FDS, by definition, is a measure of deviation from the genetic blueprint. Armed with the new observational data that shows that through intense exercise older humans can reverse the infirmities associated with aging, the Insitute was able to develop a working hypothesis that there is a human maintenance/Growth Process and that that process is activated by intense exercise.
Evolution is not irrational and it did not make a mistake. For the vast majority of humanity, chronic degenerative disorders are not the result of a flaw in the genetic blueprint, but rather result from behavior-driven deviations from that blueprint. Humans don’t suffer from FDS because evolution is trying to kill us off or doesn’t care. FDS is the result of humans behaving in an evolutionarily unprecedented manner.
The conclusion that the Growth Process is a distinct, coordinated process is also informed by the assumption that evolution does not act randomly or without reason. Multitudes of studies have shown that the same stimulus – intense exercise that leads to increased levels of lactate in the blood – triggers the release into the bloodstream of dozens of substances that are associated with growth and rejuvenation. Since all of these events occur simultaneously, it takes no great leap in logic to conclude that they are all part of a single process, especially since many of the substances cannot be effective in the absence of others and most are metabolized very quickly. The assumption that evolution knows what it is doing makes that conclusion inescapable.
There is a related critical presumption that will come as a surprise to many. In the natural sciences, all questions have answers. We may not know the answer yet, but there has to be one. The life sciences are a subset of the natural sciences. Thus, there must be an answer, and only one correct answer, to all questions. On oft-heard response to questions posed to medical professionals -- "Humans are complicated" does not meet the standard of a natural science. Why do humans lose function as they age? There has to be a correct answer that is not riddled with anamolies. The Hypothesis provides that answer.
All previous hypotheses that attempt to explain aging are riddled with anomalies and merely describe symptoms of FDS.