I can't help loving the study "Why evolution needs the old: a theory of ageing as adaptive force"

"At any moment in time, evolution is faced with a formidable challenge: refining the already highly optimised design of biological species, a feat accomplished through all preceding generations. In such a scenario, the impact of random changes (the method employed by evolution) is much more likely to be harmful than advantageous, potentially lowering the reproductive fitness of the affected individuals. Our hypothesis is that ageing is, at least in part, caused by the cumulative effect of all the experiments carried out by evolution to improve a species’ design. These experiments are almost always unsuccessful, as expected given their pseudorandom nature, cause harm to the body and ultimately lead to death. On the other hand, a small minority of experiments have positive outcome, offering valuable insight into the direction evolution should pursue. This hypothesis is consistent with the concept of “terminal addition”, by which nature is biased towards adding innovations at the end of development. From the perspective of evolution as an optimisation algorithm, ageing is advantageous as it allows to test innovations during a phase when their impact on fitness is present but less pronounced. Our inference suggests that ageing has a key biological role, as it contributes to the system’s evolvability by exerting a regularisation effect on the fitness landscape of evolution."

I must admit I feel a lot better after this reading, giving my age, 65. Hope you too.

PDF here.