What is the evolutionary advantage of death?Adam Kucharski, Imperial College London – The Conversation7/11/13 10:00amFiled to: evolutiondeathsciencemathematicsmathsadam kucharskithe conversationwilliam hamiltonj.b.s haldanepeter medawarKenneth WachterSteven EvansDavid Steinsaltz1299EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkTaxes may be inevitable, but death is an evolutionary puzzle.Owl skeleton photographed by mugley, via The ConversationWe are all getting older. The average human lifespan has doubled in the past one hundred years, prompting claims that 60 is the new 40 and 50 the new 20. But decade relabelling aside, we are still ageing in much the same way we always did: as we grow older, our risk of dying increases dramatically. Once the average British male hits their late 20s, their (initially small) chances of passing away will double with every decade that follows.Source: Office for National StatisticsJust as savings compound in our bank accounts each year, so does the probability we will soon leave the money behind. What puzzles evolutionary biologists, however, is how humans ended up with such a distinctive mortality curve.