The generic wear and tear or accumulated damage theories attempt only to explain human aging and have difficulty explaining the wide differences in life span observed between similar species.
The major non-programmed theories (mutation accumulation, antagonistic pleiotropy, disposable soma) attempt only to explain a single observation: the variation in life span between gradually aging mammals.
Programmed (adaptive) aging theories suggest the existence of a complex life span regulation system and provide explanations for a wide variety of observations as shown below.
See discussion in Biological Aging Theories.
Life span variation in gradually aging mammals
Biological suicide - semelparous species
Caloric Restriction Effect
Progeria/ Werner Syndrome
X Hormone (signal) Involvement X Detection of external conditions X
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