Re: virus: Sexuality and monogamy

Martin Traynor (
Fri, 13 Sep 1996 09:05:54 +0000


On 11 Sep 96 at 23:16, Patricia & John Crooks wrote:

> >On Wed, 11 Sep 1996 15:15:41 -0500 (Patricia & John
> >Crooks) writes:
> >
> >
> >> when the life expectancy was
> >>40
> >>years, that didn't mean that 40 year olds were really old people
> >>expected to
> >>die soon, it meant that more babies died during childbirth or from
> >>childhood
> >>illnesses thereby lowering the AVERAGE life expectency, not the actual
> >>age
> >>of death from "natural causes".
> >
> >That claim is very much at odds with my understanding. I'm very
> >interested in hearing more. What is the source of this information?
> >
> >Take care. -KMO
> >
> I pretty much assumed it was common knowledge. I think I first heard it in
> high school public health, again in college, probably associated with either
> some genetics or public health course I took.
> The other alternative would mean that the human body is aging at roughly
> half the rate that it used to, i.e. that time is slowing down, subjectively,
> I would think.

Not necessarily. Death by illness and diseases which we've since
wiped out (smallpox), cured/innoculated for (polio) or can alleviate
the symptoms sufficiently to allow life to continue (heart disease)
could account for a lot. I don't have any figures to hand but I find it hard
to believe that these factors haven't made quite a difference to
life expectancy (although I agree, probably not as much as infant
mortality has).

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