evolutionary medicine

(redirected from Darwinian medicine)
A new discipline that tries to bridge the gaps between medical anthropology, paleoanthropology, and modern medicine, using as its tools the study of genetic relationships between hunter-gatherers and various Stone Age surrogates—e.g., !Kung San of Botswana

evolutionary medicine

A paradigm for medical education and study based on the recognition that a failure to take due account of evolution when viewing human physiology, psychology, pathology and anatomy will result in a truncated, less valid and less fruitful understanding. It should, for instance, be recognized that the biological norm for infants and children is to be exposed to many infections-a condition that may be necessary for the ‘normal’ development of the immune system; and that since throughout almost the whole of human evolution life expectancy has been no more than about 30 years, systems have evolved which are largely indifferent to conditions that do not arise until well after that age. There is good reason to believe that affluence may have much more widespread malign effects than merely obesity and that these may include greatly increased susceptibility to various cancers.
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Darwinian medicine and the 'hygiene' or 'old friends' hypothesis.
Williams's Why We Get Sick (1996)--in Darwinian medicine, which attempts to incorporate evolutionary principles in the theory and practice of contemporary medicine.
A basic prediction of evolutionary or Darwinian medicine is that the human foot is likely to be well adapted to running long distances barefoot.
Gradually the discipline we now term Darwinian Medicine is emerging as a valid and valuable concept.
Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine.
Evolutionary theory, which gave rise to a new discipline named Darwinian medicine, has had a major impact on modern medical research and practice.
Darwinian medicine comprises five major categories, namely: (i) evolved host defences; (ii) evolution of virulence; (iii) genetic conflicts with other organisms; (iv) adaptation to novel environments; and (v) trade-offs and constraints in biological systems.
One big contribution Darwinian medicine could make lies in the allocation of medical resources.
1994]: Evolution and Healing: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine, London, Wiedenfeld & Nicholson.
Why We Get Sick provides one such avenue of salvation, by suggesting that the field of medicine should adopt and embrace evolutionary biology that the time has come to create an enterprise of Darwinian Medicine.
The issue is instead whether this set of examples and level of rigor is appropriate to launch the enterprise of Darwinian Medicine outside of evolutionary biology.