The evolutionary biology of aging. By Michael R. Rose. New York Oxford University Press. 1991. ix + 221 pp. ISBN 0-19-506133-0. $35.00 (cloth)код для вставкиСкачать
260 BOOK REVIEWS Despite my criticisms, I give this book top from systematically refined biostratigraphic records! I can only believe that this is an marks for effort, organization and contents. oversight, since many of the volume’s con- The authors have delivered. This is not simtributors have 20 or more years’ experience ply a n interesting volume, it is a n important with just this kind of research. It is neces- reference piece which should remain useful sary to recognize that a next significant step for many years. I found the chapters on pawhich any paleontologist or paleoanthropol- leoenvironmental contexts (Chapter 2) and ogist could make in refining the record pre- ecological characterization of fossil plants sented by this book is revealing concomitant (Chapter 3) to be very strong, and ones that I changes in functional morphology, dietary have already referred back to several times. behavior and body size of phylogenetically Students interested in vertebrate paleontolwell resolved and calibrated lineages span- ogy and paleoanthropology will benefit ning their entire biogeographic range. Many greatly from reading this book either during such studies are currently ongoing for Meso- o r following graduate courses on these subzoic and Cenozoic vertebrate lineages, and jects. I found that the concomitant reviews directly relevant to just the refinement that of the plant and animal records gave me a this working group seeks. I dread the fresh insight on vertebrate evolution and thought of the next paleontological genera- global paleoenvironmental change. The tion seeking training in strictly “taxonomi- book is reasonably priced in the soft-bound cally (actually = systematically) neutral” version, but I did have trouble with the cover paleoecological research. What a loss of de- curling badly after reading the first 150 tail that would be! pages. The hard-bound version is overpriced I further found that the paleogeographic (an additional $45.00!),especially considerand paleoclimatic presentations would have ing that all the publisher did was replace the benefitted from more detailed development cover. I have settled on the hard-cover verof the interplay between eustatic events and sion so that I can use it as a much-reassembly of faunas, and the relationship be- ferred-to work over the next several years. If tween ocean basin evolution and global cli- you are a professional vertebrate paleontolomatic change. The paleogeographic maps in gist, paleoanthropologist, or a n interested the last three chapters are useful, but not biologist, I believe you will agree that the always accurate. The Middle Miocene (14 book is well worth having. Ma) paleotopography map (Fig. 7.1, p. 362) RAYMOND L. BERNOR does not reflect my own understanding of these relationships based upon 20 years of Department of Anatomy Laboratory of Paleobiology research. This map more closely represents College of Medicine the early Miocene (ca. 20 Ma), and the EuroHoward University pean continental shelf regions rendered acWashington, D.C. tually depict Paratethys paleogeography. - THE EVOLUTIONAF~Y BIOLOGY OF AGING.By Michael R. Rose. New York: Oxford University Press. 1991. ix + 221 pp. ISBN 0-19-506133-0. $35.00 (cloth). Physical anthropology is a field which insists on placing a n evolutionary perspective upon biological processes, and for this reason alone this volume by Michael Rose is a welcome addition. In a carefullv constructed work, Rose lays out not the importance of evolutionary theory to our understanding of the processes of aging and senescence but he also discusses the experimental data in terms of application to these theories. The centrality of evolutionary theory to our understanding of the aging processes is the major thrust of Rose’s work throughout. “The fact that evolutionary theory can explain the existence of aging in a strikingly a priori fashion, unlike any other theory of aging, suggests that it warrants serious exam- BOOK REVIEWS 261 ination a s a theoretical foundation for the synthesis of historical and current material. study of aging” (p. 16). To this end, Rose Unlike many reviews of this type, Rose does uniformly returns to discussions of repro- not strongly favor only one explanation for duction and the declining force of natural aging, but presents arguments for and selection with age in the evolution of aging against a number of plausible hypotheses. patterns. For all cases, he also outlines the limitations Rose begins by discussing the develop- of, o r difficulty in obtaining, the experimenment of evolutionary theories of aging and tal data needed to corroborate these theothe application of population genetics and ries. In general, however, he expresses dismathematical modeling to aging theory. appointment with the lack of success shown Some may object to this lack of distinction by the cellular and molecular models. Rose concludes with a lengthy discussion between the terms “aging” and “senescence,” yet, in many respects, Rose merely acknowl- on the future of gerontology which is a n atedges a change in the gerontological litera- tempt to bring into focus the divergent lines ture which has blurred the boundaries be- of approach discussed in the earlier sections. tween these usages. He follows with a n He proposes a hierarchy of causes with the examination of how aging is observed in ex- apex formed by separation of the soma disperimental situations. Using examples tinct from the germ line. The ultimate cause drawn primarily from studies of Drosophila of aging is seen in the soma and is “the at(fruit flies), he lays out the limitations and tenuation of the force of natural selection and possibilities of experimental analyses, with respect to the age of gene effects” (p. acknowledging the impacts of both genetics 161). Deleterious effects may increase due to and environment on longevity and also on either of two population-genetic mechareproduction. Theoretical constructs of the nisms: 1) mutation accumulation or 2) angenetic mechanisms which may regulate the tagonistic pleiotropy. In order to probe these causes, Rose calls expression of aging are also presented. Rose then progresses into a discussion of for a redirection in research, moving, to the comparative biology of aging. This cen- some extent, away from the molecular and ters on the assertion originally presented by cellular mechanisms and back to the organWilliams (1957) and restated here that only ismal level. “Perhaps the problem is that, “when there is a n adult that produces a de- with lack of knowledge of the organismal limitable offspring, a s opposed to splitting in mechanisms the contexts in which cellular or two, can aging evolve, and then it must al- molecular mechanisms of aging might operways evolve” (p. 84) This separation of the ate are usually not clear” (p. 163). He also soma and the germ line becomes the heart of calls for increased research with mammalian models, including, eventually, humanthis theory on the evolution of aging. Chapters 6 and 7 concentrate on the or- subjects. The Iack of clear evidence for speganismal and the cellular and molecular cific aging mechanisms found in studies of theories of aging respectively. It is within shortened mean life expectancy, either these chapters that Rose begins to most stri- through genetic or environmental manipudently refocus attention away from actual lation, cause Rose to strongly to suggest a mechanisms which induce aging changes shift toward studies of postponed aging. In and onto evolution, without rejecting the im- particular such studies must address to portance of the vast majority of gerontologi- what extent any postponement of aging afcal research which does not incorporate this fects fitness. In the ambitious program view. In many cases, support for theories which Rose proposes for research, he acappears excellent but the mechanisms knowledges that the possibility of rapidly through which they affect the organism is by developing the capacity to postpone aging in altering the rates of reproduction. Often humans is remote but he is far from pessithese experiments have been performed in mistic about the eventual outcome. Most praiseworthy in this book is Rose’s species in which rapid early reproduction is insistence on application of evolutionary already associated with accelerated aging. Together, these sections are a successful theory to a field most frequently discussed 262 BOOK REVIEWS in terms of pathological conditions or limited to a n examination of the mechanisms of aging. Equally important is his willingness to acknowledge the ambiguity with which we are faced in investigating this perspective. This work does not aim to provide a new body of data from which to assess aging mechanisms. The literature cited leans heavily on older publications, and, of course, does not reflect the wealth of information which is currently coming to light. This, however, does not dimininish from the value of this contribution. It provides a consistent approach through which to evaluate our knowledge to date and presents a framework, which should be utilized in addressing all current and future research on aging. ALSO OF INTEREST Bound version of a special issue of the Journal of Human Ecology, comprising 23 papers on dental growth and development, pathology, microevolution, and wear patterns. Lukacs JR, ed. (1992) Culture, Ecology, and Dental Anthropology. Delhi, India: Kamla-Raj Enterprises, $60 (cloth). BOOKS RECEIVED Fisher, HH (1992) Anatomy of Love: The Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery, and Diuorce. New York: W. W. Norton, $22.95 (cloth). Gould SJ (1992) Eight Little Piggies: Reflections i n Natural History. New York: W.W. Norton, $22.95 (cloth). Guthrie SE (1992) Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory ofReligion. New York: Oxford Univzrsity Press, $30 (cloth). Roche AF (1992) Growth, Maturation, and ALISONGALLOWAY Anthropology Board University of California Santa Cruz, California Body Composition: the Fels Longitudinal Study 1929-1991. New York: Cambridge University Press, $64.95 (cloth). Schwartz, JH (1993) What The Bones Tell Us. New York: Henry Holt, $25 (cloth). Trinkaus, E, and P Shipman. (1992) The Neandertals: Changing The Image of Mankind. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, $30 (cloth). Wolff Purcell, R, and SJ Gould (1992) Finders, Keepers: Eight Collectors. New York: W.W. Norton, $50 (cloth).