Talk:Evolutionary medicine

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 Definition The study of diseases from the point of view of human evolutionary biology [d] [e]
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Starting new article, "Evolutionary medicine"

For the Nov07 Write-a-Thon, I started new article, "Evolutionary medicine". Need to work on references to give links to abstracts and/or full-text. --Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 18:43, 7 November 2007 (CST)


Superb idea. A small technical issue:

       * Lewis Wolpert:  The evolutionary biology of depression 


       * Ed Hagen:  The bargaining model of suicidality 

both have the following as abstracts:

           "It has recently been proposed that depression and suicidality might be bargaining strategies... a hypothesis I test... As predicted by the bargaining hypothesis, in a large subgroup of cases there is clear recognition by all parties involved that suicidality is meant to apply pressure in intense social disputes. In many cases, the strategy works, yielding benefits for the suicidal individual." 

Thanks again for starting this article! Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 15:54, 17 November 2007 (CST)

Evolutionary explanations in medical and health profession courses: are you answering your students' "why" questions?

This is the title of a research that might be useful in this article. Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 11:48, 8 January 2008 (CST)

Thanks for suggestions and edits, Pierre-Alain

Pierre-Alain: Thanks for inserting the full-text reference to Dobzhansky's Biology Teacher article. Too bad they misspelled his last name on the title page. I'll alert readers to that in a note.

And thanks for the suggested topics and references. I somewhat hurriedly started the article, expecting to reference later.

Please jump in with content if you've a mind.

Anthony.Sebastian Jan 8 2008

I have created for the Write-a-thon (but it was published 50 minutes too late, in my time zone), the article Fat utilization hypothesis, which is an evolutionary medicine hypothesis with great merits, IMO. I wanted, initially, to fit it in the evolutionary medicine article, but I couldn't find a way. After reading your new page on semantic primes, I felt it was a good idea to use a full narrative to describe this hypothesis. Unfortunately, my writing skills in English are abandoning me. I have to stop citizediting for today. Do you think it will be possible to provide a general overview of this theory in the evolutionary medicine page?
Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 00:06, 10 January 2008 (CST)

Formatting suggestions

I recommend that the subtopic titles be drastically shortened; else the TOC is taking up over 50% of the document width with almost "sentence" subheadings. --Robert W King 14:54, 8 January 2008 (CST)

Image: Venus of Willendorf

Is there a better illustration of Konner's suggestion,

Anthropologist Melvin Konner adds a sociocultural component to the evolutionary perspective on obesity.[8] He points out that historically plump women represented the ideal of female beauty, that the plump young women models of Renaissance painters had just enough reserve of stored energy to pay the costs of gestating and breastfeeding a baby — contributing to her and the father's reproductive fitness. Professor Konner adds: "Little wonder, then, that evolution caused men to find it [female plumpness] attractive."

... than the Venus of Willendorf? I could insert one of these images. It's partly a matter of taste, however... Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 23:06, 14 January 2008 (CST)

(Older/Other) evolutionary hypotheses awaiting scientific testing


  • Lipoprotein(a), uric acid as surrogates for ascorbate. (Pauling (late '70s); Proctor (early '70s)) (see vitamin C)
  • Fat utilization hypothesis: Schizophrenia/psychopathic leaders / religion / exuberant brain lipid metabolism and microconnectivity (Horrobin (late '90s))
  • Language and lateralization: psychopathy (Crow; to be contrasted with Horrobin's)
  • "The dawn of science-based moral reasoning". Evolutionary advantages of altruism. Also, Interesting counterargument against the "naturalistic fallacy". See altruism
  • ...

Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 02:40, 15 January 2008 (CST)

this section (which has been renamed, and will be renamed again) is not in best agreement with the structure of the article (but I think it agrees with the spirit). If it stands scrutiny, it could perhaps be moved elsewhere, maybe towards the end ("Unanswered questions" or the like) when the article develops. I thought it was appropriate to place it with the list of topics (notice that I had to slightly change the structure by creating the section " Topics of interest: a selection", and by moving "2006 symposium, “Medicine and Evolution” to a subsection).
In dealing with overt complaints uttered by scientists that they are not taken into consideration, one can perhaps use more caution than I did. I don't know!
Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 11:07, 15 January 2008 (CST)

Proposed section: role of evolutionary medicine and evolutionary biology in society

  • The notion of discordance played a "catalytic role" in the WHO's guidelines on nutrition and physical activity (2003)
  • Explaining depression as a tool to achieve radical life changes (Neese) reiterates Szazs's critique
  • The vitamin C "movement" for optimal, primate-level doses of ascorbate has propelled the movement for "optimal" health.
  • More generally, seeing the genes as results of a process more than as the result of a genetic lottery (cf Melvin Konner:
With the advantage of hindsight, will we pay any more attention to evolution in the medical research and education of the future? Or will the justly admired advances in genomics and imaging usher in a new era of technologic arrogance in which we once again forget that we were, and are, in the first place, evolving animals?

Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 02:56, 15 January 2008 (CST)