Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Science and Management

Reader 1

Findley Finseth

Reader 2

Anna Wenzel


While scientists have searched for explanations of senescence on an organismal, species specific, and individual level, no theory encapsulates the disparities in why and how these three distinct groups age. Scientists do not understand why organisms almost necessarily age, why species age at different rates and with different phenotypes, and why individuals of the same species age at different rates despite almost identical genetic and environmental elements. In this paper, I review the three main theories of aging - the evolutionary theory of aging, the programmed theories of aging, and the damage based theories of aging - in light of modern evidence.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.