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Cracking the Aging Code  By  cover art

Cracking the Aging Code

By: Josh Mitteldorf,Dorion Sagan
Narrated by: Stephen McLaughlin
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Publisher's Summary

A revolutionary examination of why we age, what it means for our health, and how we just might be able to fight it.

In Cracking the Aging Code, theoretical biologist Josh Mitteldorf and award-winning writer and ecological philosopher Dorion Sagan reveal that evolution and aging are even more complex and breathtaking than we originally thought. Using meticulous multidisciplinary science as well as reviewing the history of our understanding about evolution, this book makes the case that aging is not something that "just happens", nor is it the result of wear and tear or a genetic inevitability. Rather, aging has a fascinating evolutionary purpose: to stabilize populations and ecosystems, which are ever threatened by cyclic swings that can lead to extinction. When a population grows too fast, it can put itself at risk of a wholesale wipeout.

Aging has evolved to help us adjust our growth in a sustainable fashion as well as prevent an ecological crisis from starvation, predation, pollution, or infection. This dynamic new understanding of aging is provocative, entertaining, and pioneering and will challenge the way we understand aging, death, and just what makes us human.

©2016 Josh Mitteldorf and Dorion Sagan (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

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Liberal agenda

What would have made Cracking the Aging Code better?

Stick with science and not go off on tangents on how socialism is better than capitalism.

What was most disappointing about Josh Mitteldorf and Dorion Sagan ’s story?

Too biased.

9 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected.

This entire book is simply trying to prove (to the public, or the science community, I couldn't tell where it was aimed) that group selection is the main culprit behind why we are programmed to age. They do this by attacking the viewpoint of every single other theory accepted by science up to this point. Is somebody detesting the 'Disposable Soma Theory' from 92 different approaches something that may hold you interest? Would you mind hearing the term 'Neo-Darwinian theory' 492 times? If so this book is for you. But that's not what I was looking for. And the cherry on top was the fact that the narrator to the audio book sounds like Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. A southern California surfer may not have been the best choice to narrate this book.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

A mix of good and bad

The first few and last few chapters of this book are terrible. The author goes on and on with his amateurish thoughts on philosophy, economics, and other subjects. The middle chapters were a very interesting coverage of the evolution of aging as well as research on aging. The book is worth it for the middle chapters. The begining almost made me quit the book early, and the end made me question the credibility of the middle chapters.

4 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

This is an eye opening paradigm shift in how we view aging. Well referenced and thought provoking

1 person found this helpful

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No new information just arguing

Awful just awful, and not what advertised to be. It’s just one man’s opining why he’s right about evolution and everyone else is wrong. Not science, just opinions, and no anti-aging insights as advertised. If I have to hear the word “neo-Darwinian one more time I’ll lose my mind. Awful book

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Fascinating!

I bought this book when I read a review that mentioned David Sinclair’s Lifespan, which is one of my top 2 favorite books. Cracking the Aging Code is full of fascinating hypotheses, theories, science and evolutionary biology. Did not want to miss a single sentence and in fact rewound many times to make sure I hadn’t missed a thing. Could have listened to 10 more hours of it.

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Good attempt to cover a big subject

This is an impressively comprehensive coverage of the science, history, and philosophy of why we age, and the efforts of scientists to understand and develop effective therapies. Written in 2015, some of the statements are becoming outdated. But much is valuable and relevant. This book would be especially interesting to those who are already students or researchers in the field, because they can appreciate how it fits in with other viewpoints on how aging occurs. Unfortunately, the audiobook reader mispronounces many technical terms and the names of many key scientists and historical figures.

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A credible hypothesis of aging

First off, the narrator was great. As a co-author he never mispronounced a scientific word which was refreshing. My biggest concern reading (listening to) this book was that it was outdated now (in 2021) because the science is moving so fast. Welp, I was SO wrong. This read like a breakthrough text to me. To other commenters decrying political views in the book, I can only say that it was contained to a paragraph or two, and used as an analogy. It's honestly quite strange that anyone would mention that in the review, as it was 0.001% of the text.

Before this book I read Sinclair's Lifespan. While Sinclair's book presents some very profound experiments, this text is on a different level. It pulls together evolutionary biology and modern bioscience. There is a very large chunk of the book where the author is arguing group selection theory that can be skipped over if you are not a hardcore neo-darwinist type (i.e. prestigious old school evolutionary biologist.) The last 1/3 of the book is gold when it comes to helping you understand aging and what you can do about it. My favorite take away tip is the concept of mutually redundant benefit, where you end up adding the same 3 years to your life over and over again (this is bad, or a waste of money at best.) He outlines the different pathways which work separately which you can activate. However, the author also heavily focuses on what is missing in current science and where we need to go. Some of this has been addressed over the last 10 years but sadly some science is lagging. According to the author, "winding back the aging clock 4 years would save more lives than a perfect cure for cancer."