Are We Entering The Age Of Decay?

David G. Armstrong DPM MD PhD

I was listening to my favorite program the other night, BBC Radio 4's In Our Time. This program focused on “The Origins of Infectious Disease.” As usual, Melvyn Bragg puts forth a fascinating topic. One of the superb panelists, Steve Jones, BSc, PhD, a Professor of Genetics at University College London and a UK Stem Cell Foundation Trustee, pointed out that we could divide the roughly 200,000 years of Homo sapiens into the following three ages of death.

The Age of Disaster: When we often met our demise as we were bitten, impaled or otherwise devoured.

The Age of Disease: When we frequently died from various plagues and pestilence as we moved into more closely packed cities.

The Age of Decay: When, as we began to successfully learn to collectively fight infections, we began to wither away.

While there are obviously dramatic exceptions to this very rough framework, it is really a nice one to begin the discussion, particularly in the context of what might call the plague of decay of our time: diabetes. If so, I would posit that those of us who are interested in healing, prevention and mobility are uniquely suited to making a difference.


1. UK Stem Cell Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2011.

This blog has been adapted with permission from a previous blog that originally appeared at .

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