Arguably the last major discovery in the field of aging research occurred over 50 years ago: Hayflick's discovery of cellular senescence and the existence of a replication counter. Despite this breakthrough and the multitude of theories proposed since then, little progress has been made towards reaching a consensus on why organisms age or why they live as long as they do. In this paper, a multidisciplinary approach is taken in an attempt to understand the root causes of aging and derive a theory of aging with fewer anomalies than existing theories. Nonequilibrium thermodynamics may play a previously unappreciated role in determining longevity by dictating the dynamics of degradation within biomolecular ensembles and the inevitability of information loss. The proposed model offers explanations for aging-related observations that are considered paradoxical within the current paradigms. This framework questions the role of declining selective pressure as the primary driver of aging, and implies a fatal flaw in the disposable soma theory that may be responsible for a number of misconceptions that have impeded progress in the field. In summary, unifying pertinent concepts from diverse disciplines leads to a theory of aging with fewer anomalies, and may be useful in predicting outcomes of experimental attempts to modulate the aging phenotype.