Survival of the Sickest, written by author Dr. Sharon Moalem, is a book discussing why evolution has not allowed for the destruction of certain diseases. He states that these deadly diseases, such as Anemia, Hemochromatosis, and High Cholesterol, are in fact tools that evolution used to help the human race survive. He explains how these diseases helped fight against more dangerous and life threatening sicknesses such as, Malaria, the Bubonic Plague, and Vitamin D deficiency related illnesses. The main idea of this book is a simple one. Evolution did not necessarily favor adaptations that made us better. Instead, it favored adaptations that helped us survive. Even if these adaptations would end up killing us in the long run.
Disease and plague, something that has been with man since the beginning, always challenging them, forcing them to adapt and change. Plagues and Peoples by William H. McNeill is a book explaining the hardships, facts, and evidence of how plagues caused man to adapt and move. Documented encounters with disease, ranging from the height of the Chinese empire, to the medieval kingdoms in Europe and Spain, as well as the colonization of the Americas, and the great genocide of the native peoples of South America. The illusory idea that man had won the battle in 1974 was quickly proven wrong yet again, for man may never win the battle against disease, and forever be in a constant battle. McNeill’s claim of fact as well as Ethos allowed him to write a consistent story including rhetoric devices, showing the true purpose of the informative book and conveying his main point of how plagues shaped the course of humankind development.
Upon first glance, the title, Survival of the Sickest, seems to be confusing due to the inherent contradiction. How could someone who is sick lead a long life? After all, we usually perceive disease to be when something is wrong with our body such as through a pathogen which disrupts the normal physiology of an organism. We thus arrive at the conclusion that disease would potentially limit longevity. However, Dr. Sharon Moalem argues that there is a connection between disease and longevity. He argues that most diseases or conditions are protective against an evolutionary compromise, his main thesis in the book.
Dr. Sharon Moalem, the author of Survival of the Sickest, provides a fascinating glimpse into the idea that modern human diseases that afflict us actually have a significant role in the selection and the existence of our ancestors. Before reading this book, I was used to thinking of diseases as disorders that adversely affect a person. While this may be the case for most individuals, Moalem explained in his book that that there’s an underlying connection between various diseases and longevity of a species. He explained how these diseases helped fight against more life threatening situations such as the Bubonic Plague, malaria, and the ice age. Most importantly, I learned that evolution did not necessarily favor adaptations that make us better, but those that help us survive, even if these adaptations would kill us in the long run.
“What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger” (p. 28). In the scientific novel Survival of the Sickest by Sharon Moalem with Jonathan Prince, self-acclaimed “Medical Maverick” Dr. Moalem makes in-depth analyses of current human diseases that, ironically, may have actually been beneficial to the survival and evolution of mankind throughout its existence on Earth. With the use of myriad scientific studies and research, he formulates surprising theories about the potentially positive correlation between disease and humanity. Survival of the Sickest presents a novel concept that greatly contradicts what have been universally accepted beliefs surrounding biology and the process of human evolution for a long time. Though the associations may seem arbitrary at first glance, Moalem narrates the scientific world’s findings that strongly exemplify this concept. Three of the diseases that he examines, hemochromatosis, Type 1 diabetes, and favism, could have in fact proved useful for helping humans resist other illnesses and surviving a harsh environment.
The Ted X Talk, Tracking ancient diseases using…plaque, with Christina Warinner as the speaker focused on explaining one innovative way to move past the challenges associated with studying diet, infection and immunity of our ancestors. Warinner is an archaeological geneticist at the Center for Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich. She studies how humans co-evolved with their environment, diets and disease by looking at the skeletal and mummified remains of ancient humans. In her Ted X Talk given in Long Beach, California in March 2012 she provided explanations for the difficulties researchers are faced with, the description of the new implementation of Warinner and her team and the results that were found, Warinner shares with others how the evolutionary history of health and human disease is being investigated.
“What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger” (p. 28). In the scientific novel Survival of the Sickest by Sharon Moalem with Jonathan Prince, self-acclaimed “Medical Maverick” Dr. Moalem makes in-depth analyses of current human diseases that, ironically, may have led to the survival of mankind in the past. He presents a novel concept that greatly contradicts what have been universally accepted beliefs surrounding biology and the process of human evolution for a long time. With the use of myriad scientific studies and research, he formulates surprising theories about a positive correlation between disease and humanity. Moalem narrates the scientific world’s findings that strongly exemplify his assertions, however arbitrary they may seem at first. Three of the diseases that he examines, hemochromatosis, Type 1 diabetes, and favism, could have been particularly useful for resistance against other illnesses and survival in a historically harsh environment.
However there is another ways that people can get ill for example people can be with a low defence if they feel depress this is cause as they may have emotional or social problems with themselves or society, this can cause a health problem.
Diseases have been categorized as under a derogatory and lamentable category. However, Dr.Sharon Moalem and Jonathan Prince approach diseases from a different view in their scientific book Survival of the Sickest . They discuss that if diseases weren 't helpful, shouldn 't they have been eliminated through natural selection or shouldn 't humans have developed resistance to them through the use of evolution? Moalem and Prince answer the questions by going back in time and analyzing the uses of diseases, and come across surprises that may help humans in the future as they may have in the past. Though Moalem and Prince discussed many diseases in their book Survival of the Sickest, three diseases really stood out.
In his book Survival of the Sickest, Dr. Sharon Moalem examines several modern diseases, and suggests that although they are harmful now, they may have once provided our ancestors with an evolutionary advantage that was selected for. The book puts the present day view of disease and medicine in a new light, providing the reader with an entirely new perspective on illness, inheritance, and natural selection. Some of the afflictions Dr. Moalem discusses are hemochromatosis, diabetes, and high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia). The author offers background knowledge about these conditions, their history, and goes on to explain the evolutionary advantages they may have bestowed upon our ancestors, changing the reader’s mindset and creating new
Ever since life first appeared on the planet we call home, organisms have been changing in a process called evolution. Evolution favors genetic traits that helps a species thrive and reproduce and tries to weed out the traits that threaten a species’ chance of survival. Genes that give a survival or reproductive advantage spread through the gene pool faster while genes that do not help a species get less common. This key mechanism of evolution is called natural selection. But even with evolution and natural selection, genetic diseases that make people sick are still in the gene pool after hundreds of thousands of years. So why would this happen? In Dr. Sharon Moalem’s Survival of the Sickest, he proposes that many of today’s deadly genetic
Diseases can cause a devastating effect on both the human body, and also the human population. Throughout several time periods of the present and past, diseases have caused a humongous impact in several society's in different countries around the world. Several large pandemics and epidemics have killed off the population of many species including humans and primates. Wether the time period is in the present or as far back as the Middle Ages, each and every one of these diseases, have had a life threatening outbreak, across several developing countries. Three known diseases have all created a huge conflict on different civilizations, causing different, unanswered questions to arise. A lot of research has gone into each individual disease, to
In his book Survival of the Sickest, Dr. Sharon Moalem examines several modern diseases and suggests that although they are harmful now, they may have once provided our ancestors with an evolutionary advantage. The book puts the present day view of disease and medicine in a new light, providing the reader with an entirely new perspective on illness, inheritance, and natural selection. Some of the afflictions Dr. Moalem discusses are hemochromatosis, diabetes, and high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia). The author offers background knowledge about these conditions, their history, and goes on to explain the evolutionary advantages they may have bestowed upon our ancestors. The thought-provoking content changes the reader’s mindset and creates
Throughout the history of the entire world, things have constantly been changing. Societies have been created and flourished, humans evolved, new technologies have been created, and new theories discovered. However, with so many advancements in the human world, there are some things that cannot be stopped from happening or change. Organisms can get an illness at any moment in their lives from many different causes. Some illnesses cannot be cured, can cause unbearable symptoms or pain, and can cause you to lose your life, such as cancer. If a person is terminally ill, their illness will be the cause of their death no matter how much treatment is received.
It is surely agreed by all parties that disease’s very existence is condemned and despised. Disease burdens pain and uncomfortability upon its victims. Some people can even experience an unfortunate and early death, when illnesses comes knocking on their doorsteps. Why are we allowing evil illnesses to take the lives of innocent people; something needs to be done.