General Question

electricsky's avatar

Why do people get wrinkles, gray hair, etc.?

Asked by electricsky (825points) April 1st, 2009

For what evolutionary reason do we get gray hair, wrinkles, etc.?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’m going out on a limb here and guessing that the aging process is probably the culprit. At least in my case anyway.

fireside's avatar

Stress, sunlight and gravity.

electricsky's avatar

I meant evolutionary like, why would we need wrinkles or whatever?

breedmitch's avatar

In an evolutionary sense, it makes us lees attractive than those younger bucks with better genes to pass along.

Ivan's avatar

It’s not a characteristic that we have evolved. Eventually our cells just give way to sunlight, corrosive oxygen, etc.

3or4monsters's avatar

Wrinkles: Cellular oxidation that effects the elastin regeneration in our tissue. Also the same cause of “age spots and why ferrous metals rust. Why foods containing antioxidants, consumed in youth and throughout life, are being toted as anti-aging miracle foods.

Grey Hair: Can develop at any age. My fiance’s had a few grey hairs since he was 19. The… blanking on the term for when it’s describing hair.. melanin? Same that gives us freckles or skin tone, after a while will stop producing melanin and become clear, which appears grey. This is caused by heredity/genetics (“your hair follicles will stop producing color at this age” just like “you will grow to this hight by this age”), not directly caused by age itself.

Mr_M's avatar

@electricsky, from an evolutionary perspective, there is NO reason.

We used to be DEAD before we got grey, wrinkled, etc. It’s only because we live a lot longer then our ancestral cave men counterparts that our bodies take a big beating from our environment and we age. So we didn’t evolve to get that way; it’s something that happens because we live longer then early man. Wait till you see what happens to us when we live to be 200!

fireside's avatar

And just imagine what a human who has been brought back to life only to live another 5 billion years would look like

Bluefreedom's avatar

This guy had a hard time accepting the truth when someone told him how ancient he was.

Darwin's avatar

Once you’ve had kids and raised them you have outlived your evolutionary usefulness, so why maintain the property?

And as @Mr_M says, it really didn’t matter evolutionarily because we all died long before things wore out. The warranty runs out, and * poof * you are gray, wrinkled, and gone.

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