Abstract

Evolutionary medicine is an emerging field of medical studies that uses evolutionary theory to explain the ultimate causes of health and disease. Educational tools, online courses, and medical school modules are being developed to help clinicians and students reconceptualize health and illness in light of our evolutionary past. Yet clinical guidelines based on our ancient life histories are epistemically weak, relying on the controversial assumptions of adaptationism and advocating a strictly biophysical account of health. To fulfill the interventionist goals of clinical practice, it seems that proximate explanations are all we need to develop successful diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines. Considering these epistemic concerns, this article argues that the clinical relevance of evolutionary medicine remains uncertain at best.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 36-52
Launched on MUSE
2013-06-04
Open Access
No
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