Aging as Error Accumulation

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Aging is intuitively a departure of the body from a state of normality which may be termed the healthy state. Of course, aging is not the only means of effecting this departure – it must contend with the effects of disease, toxins, radiation and generally any event which leads to somatic/genetic damage which interferes with biochemical function. A healthy state can be imagined as a body configuration which reduces on the finest level to a correct pattern of atoms or pattern of interaction of atoms. The fraction of healthy states is insignificant relative to the totality of states which may be termed unhealthy (disease, aging and death etc.). This is intimately linked to the second law of thermodynamics and means that energy must be continually expended to maintain the body within the relatively narrow boundary of healthy states.  

The formulation of aging as a manifestation of unhealthy states which resolve to  incorrect patterns of atoms or atomic interactions is in keeping with the SENS program which interprets aging as the result of seven types of damage accumulation (the Seven Deadly Things). The two interpretations express the same idea.

A slight departure from the formulation of aging as damage accumulation is the consideration of aging as error accumulation. The difference is not merely formal. The replacement of the word damage by error has the effect of aiding us in perceving aging from the perspective of information theory – its proper environment.

A convenient consequence of the kinship between aging, disease, and death is that technology compatible with addressing the aging problem will find application in the correction of the disease and the reversal of death.

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