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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

New interest in evolution and medicine arose late in the twentieth century from the recognition that there are several possible kinds of evolutionary explanation for aspects of the body that leave it vulnerable to disease, in addition to the inevitability of mutations. Investigations of related hypotheses have led to rapid growth of evolutionary medicine, and its expansion to integrate demographic, phylogenetic, and population genetic methods. Evolutionary approaches to understanding disease are part of a major transition in biology, from viewing the body as a designed machine to a fully biological view of the body’s organic complexity as fundamentally different from that of designed machines.

Keywords: evolutionary medicine, Darwinian medicine, proximate, natural selection, vulnerability, organic complexity, mechanism, phylogeny, population genetics

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