Even today, there are scientific phenomena that defy explanation. If history is anything to go by, resolving these anomalies could lead to a great leap forward, so what are the greatest mysteries, and what scientific revolutions might they bring?No. 3 has certainly intrigued me for some time. If evolution is essentially driven by survivability, how come things don't survive terribly long? The reply may be, "They survive long enough to reproduce." But that doesn't seem much of an answer, because surely the longer you survive to reproduce, the more offspring you will have and the more those selfish little genes will be around to replicate. Ipso facto, evolution ought to be favouring the 'survivors' in the longevity stakes and things should be living longer and longer, compared with a few millennia ago.
1 The missing universe
5 Free will
• Michael Brooks is a consultant for New Scientist and the author of 13 Things That Don't Make Sense, published by Profile on Thursday
Yet Psalm 90:10 still applies now as it did then: "The length of our days is seventy years — or eighty, if we have the strength."
I await the book titled, Better off Dead: the evolutionary advantages of death. Meanwhile, answers, as they used to say, on a postcard.
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