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- Evolution and medicine: the long reach of "Dr. Darwin"


Evolution and medicine: the long reach of "Dr. Darwin"

Niall Shanks and Rebecca A Pyles

1Departments of History and of Philosophy, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas 67260, USA
2Honors College and Department of Biological Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee 37614, USA

In this review we consider the new science of Darwinian medicine. While it has often been said that evolutionary theory is the glue that holds the disparate branches of biological inquiry together and gives them direction and purpose, the links to biomedical inquiry have only recently been articulated in a coherent manner. Our aim in this review is to make clear first of all, how evolutionary theory is relevant to medicine; and secondly, how the biomedical sciences have enriched our understanding of evolutionary processes. We will conclude our review with some observations of the philosophical significance of this interplay between evolutionary theory and the biomedical sciences.

Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2007, 2:4. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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