The next time you get sick, consider this before picking up the aspirin: your body may be doing exactly what it's supposed to. In this ground-breaking book, two pioneers of the science of Darwinian medicine argue that illness as well as the factors that predispose us toward it are subject to the same laws of natural selection that otherwise make our bodies such miracles of design. Among the concerns they raise:
When may a fever be beneficial? Why do pregnant women get morning sickness? How do certain viruses "manipulate" their hosts into infecting others? What evolutionary factors may be responsible for depression and panic disorder?
Deftly summarizing research on disorders ranging from allergies to Alzheimer's, and form cancer to Huntington's chorea, Why We Get Sick, answers these questions and more. The result is a book that will revolutionize our attitudes toward illness and will intrigue and instruct lay person and medical practitioners alike.
About the Author
Randolph M Nesse, M.D., is a practicing physcian and professor and associate chair for education and academic affairs in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School.
George C. Williams, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of ecology and evolution at the State University at Stony Brook and editor of The Quarterly Review of Biology.
"By bringing the evolutionary vision systematically into one of the last unconquered provinces, Nesse and Williams have devised not only means for the improvement of medicine but fundamental new insights into the human condition."--Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University
"In moving the focus from 'how' to 'why' questions, Nesse and Williams introduce readers to a new way of thinking about illness, one that promises to be of increasing interest as...our culture turns toward evolutionary explanations for human predicaments."--Peter D. Kramer, author of Listening to Prozac