Darwinian medicine can be defined as a filed of medicine which incorporates studies from evolutionary biology, in particular adaptationist program. In other words, Darwinian medicine aims at finding evolutionary interpretations why people are subjected to infections and diseases. Darwinian approach to understanding our bodies differs dramatically from Western traditions because Darwinian medicine doesn’t try to find out why one person becomes ill, whereas the other one doesn’t.
In contrast to traditional approach aimed at curing the patient when he is already ill, Darwinian medicine tries to reveal why people are subjected to these diseases. They argue that revealing such information would give an excellent opportunity to prevent diseases instead of treating them afterwards. (Nesse 1996) It is necessary to outline that natural selection plays important role in Darwinian medicine. For example, the scientists examine how natural selection has shaped human eye or arm and has failed to prevent people from such diseases as depression, cancer, atherosclerosis or nearsightedness.
Natural selection is considered in the following way: all humans are treated as the result of evolutionary processes. Natural selection, according to Darwinian’s view, takes place when reproductive success is affected by genetic variations. It is natural selection that makes all human beings adapt to changing environment. Consequently, diseases and illnesses should be analyzed from the perspective of physiological function.
Understanding natural selection gives scientists opportunity to explain infections, allergy, aging processes, mental disorders, etc. (Shanahan 1999) Darwinian approach is innovative and very interesting. I found out new interpretations which affected my view of body and health care choices. For example, Darwinian medicine suggests that infection is a struggle between our body and viruses which are willing to eat us. So, we fail to escape them because they are reproducing more rapidly than our cells. In such a way our defense is weakened. (Nesse 1996)