If Humans Were Built to Last; New Look at Human Evolution; Special Editions; by S. Jay Olshansky, Bruce A. Carnes and Robert N. Butler; 7 Page(s)
Bulging disks, fragile bones, fractured hips, torn ligaments, varicose veins, cataracts, hearing loss, hernias and hemorrhoids: the list of bodily malfunctions that plague us as we age is long and all too familiar. Why do we fall apart just as we reach what should be the prime of life?
The living machines we call our bodies deteriorate because they were not designed for extended operation and because we now push them to function long past their warranty period. The human body is artistically beautiful and worthy of all the wonder and amazement it evokes. But from an engineer's perspective, it is a complex network of bones, muscles, tendons, valves and joints that are directly analogous to the fallible pulleys, pumps, levers and hinges in machines. As we plunge further into our postreproductive years, our joints and other anatomical features that serve us well or cause no problems at younger ages reveal their imperfections. They wear out or otherwise contribute to the health problems that become common in the later years.