The Indispensable Soma Hypothesis posits that: “humans who are suitably integrated within a technological, information-rich, cognitive environment, and who are indispensable for the adaptability of such environment, may experience a reversal of their resource allocation priorities from the germline to the soma, resulting in improved somatic repair and a progressive reduction of age-related degeneration”. The information load which is associated with being a functional agent within a techno-cognitive, increasingly complex ecosystem is likely to invoke natural principles and conserved mechanisms, and may reverse the energetic trade-offs which currently ensure high genomic repair fidelity in the germline. This information-sharing process may lead to a sequestration of resources from the germline, and to their re-allocation to somatic neurons, leading to ongoing repair of these neurons and other somatic elements.

 

The hypothesis does not contradict any major views, theories or principles in ageing. On the contrary, it complements many such theories and it is in direct agreement with all laws of evolution, entropy and survival. Two major assumptions are discussed: First, that any agent which contributes to the overall evolvability of a system, is likely to be retained longer within that system. And second, that the biological mechanism underpinning such retention is likely to be based on a reversal of the conflict between germline and somatic (neuronal) survival in humans. Supporting evidence from both a biological and a complex systems perspective is discussed. For full details see one of my papers on a reversal of informational entropy, my editorial  and a discussion about participating humans. More details are found here.