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Aging in animals isn’t simply a matter of wear-and-tear as with an automobile. Animals, unlike cars, have built-in repair mechanisms, such as DNA repair enzymes or the ability to degrade defective proteins. Aging is as much a matter of defective repair as of wear-and-tear.

One researcher suggested that aging isn’t only a loss of function, it is a loss of control, such that some functions become excessive. The chronic inflammation of old age is an example of a beneficial biological response that has gone out of control. Another researcher said that chronic inflammation is due to an increase in garbage in cells and tissues. The inflammatory response to the garbage results in the creation of even more garbage.

Another researcher noted that aging is drying because babies are soft and wet, whereas the elderly are hard and dry. Someone else said that aging is unpleasant and unattractive, and that anyone claiming otherwise is just attempting to rationalize out of despair. Someone else said that chronic diseases drive the aging process as much as aging results in chronic diseases.

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