While solutions to major scientific and medical problems are never perfect or complete, it is still reasonable to
delineate cases where both have been essentially solved. For example, Darwin’s theory of natural selection provides a
successful solution to the problem of biological adaptation, while the germ theory of infection solved the scientific problem
of contagious disease. Likewise in the context of medicine, we have effectively solved the problem of contagious disease,
reducing it to a minor cause of death and disability for almost everyone in countries with advanced medicine and
adequate resources. Evolutionary biologists claim to have solved the scientific problem of aging: we explain it theoretically
using Hamilton’s forces of natural selection; in experimental evolution we readily manipulate the onset, rate, and
eventual cessation of aging by manipulating these forces. In this article, we turn to the technological challenge of solving
the medical problem of aging. While we feel that the broad outlines of such a solution are clear enough starting from the
evolutionary solution to the scientific problem of aging, we do not claim that we can give a complete or exhaustive plan
for medically solving the problem of aging. But we are confident that biology and medicine will effectively solve the
problem of aging within the next 50 years, providing Hamiltonian lifestyle changes, tissue repair, and genomic technological
opportunities are fully exploited in public health practices, in medical practice, and in medical research, respectively.
Death spiral, evolutionary biology, experimental evolution, genomics, Hamilton's forces of natural selection,
Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-2525, USA.