Home Public Health • Download Evolving Health: The Origins of Illness and How the Modern by Noel T. Boaz PDF

Download Evolving Health: The Origins of Illness and How the Modern by Noel T. Boaz PDF

By Noel T. Boaz

Human health problems should be understood as harm to these variations that we took on at numerous levels in our evolution from pre-life molecules to fashionable Homo sapiens. combating those health problems includes fending off what reasons the damage–– which too often are the standard risks of twenty-first-century lifestyles, because the chart less than indicates:

Level of Evolution

Cause of adaptive failure

resulting sickness or challenge


Environmental poisons

Certain delivery defects

Single mobile (bacteria and amoeba-like)

Viral an infection


Morula (sponge-like)

Cellular tension



Physical tension

Back discomfort


Excess nutritional salt

Hypertension/heart affliction


Tobacco smoke

Lung cancer/emphysema

Lower primate

Excess nutritional sugar

Diabetes mellitus

Higher primate

Vitamin C deficiency



Excess nutritional protein


Homo sapiens

Reduced nutritional style

Nutritionaldiseases/food bronchial asthma

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Additional info for Evolving Health: The Origins of Illness and How the Modern World is Making Us Sick

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A third unique aspect of human birth that makes the process difficult is that the human tail, the coccyx, became flexed under the pelvis, again as part of the pelvic adaptations to bipedality. The fetus’s head enters the pelvic cavity upside down and looking to the side, but because the coccyx blocks the way out, its head must turn and flex forward in the birth canal so that it faces either back or front. This twisting of the fetus’s body can cause its shoulder to be caught in the birth canal or its neck stretched and injured during birth.

Qxp 02/11/02 10:04 Page 33 How Our Health Evolved 33 Alfred Romer once described these creatures as an odd mix between a lizard and a dog. Their primary reproductive adaptation was the leathery amniote egg (the amnion is a layer inside the egg that stores wastes and allows the egg to “breathe” through its shell). But not only was the amniote egg, unlike amphibian eggs, laid on land, it was also already fertilized. Reptiles evolved copulation and the anatomy that goes along with it. Male reptiles have an intromissive organ, a penis, that introduces sperm into the female’s vagina for internal fertilization.

Our last common ancestor with fungi also dates from this time, a fact that explains why an antibacterial substance discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928 and named by him “penicillin” kills bacteria and not us. 8 The First Animals The two-layered structure of a blastocyst in Level 4 gives rise to a three-layered sandwich of cells characteristic of the first truly active organisms—animals. The transformation from microscopic, three-layered9 embryonic disk to a body form observable to the naked eye recapitulates an ancient evolutionary progression every generation.

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