One might expect that within a particular species, any individuals that managed to slow down the aging process would leave more offspring. Natural selection should therefore favor extreme longevity—but this does not seem to be the case. A possible explanation is that aging is a product of the inevitable wear and tear of living, similar to how household appliances generally accumulate faults that lead to their eventual demise. However, most researchers do not find this analogy satisfactory as an explanation.
Which of the following would, if true, provide the strongest explanation for the researchers’ reaction?