Doctors need evolution the way engineers need physics, but they don't get it because of politics




Nesse, Randolph M.

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[Note: The slides are not available from this event.] The past 25 years have seen many new applications of evolutionary biology in medicine. Some investigate why natural selection has left systems vulnerable, expanding medicine's perspective from that of a mechanic to that of an engineer. Others use phylogenetic methods to trace relationships among organisms, especially pathogens. These advances have inspired a score of books, new journals, a new scientific society, and undergraduate courses in most universities. However, no medical school teaches evolutionary biology the way other basic sciences are taught, so most doctors have misconceptions that are the equivalent of engineers believing in perpetual motion. Historical, practical, political and religious factors conspire to keep evolutionary biology separate from medicine. Clinical mistakes and slowed research progress result. Recognition of the problem and the opportunity are growing but solutions are likely to be piecemeal until a new generation of doctors assumes leadership positions.

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[Note: The slides are not available from this event.] Tuesday, September 11, 2018; noon to 1 p.m.; Room D1.602. "Doctors Need Evolution the Way Engineers Need Physics But They Don't Get It Because of Politics". Randolph M. Nesse, M.D., Foundation Professor of Life Sciences and Founding Director, Center for Evolution & Medicine, Arizona State University.

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