Description: This course explores the ways that evolutionary theory can illuminate our understanding of human health and disease. The integration of evolutionary concepts into health sciences can deepen our understanding of the origins of diseases and how human populations evolve in response to these ailments. The course begins with an introduction to evolutionary medicine (two hours of lecture) followed by an overview of human genetic variation and natural selection (six hours of lecture). With this foundation, we study the evolution of human diet and the evolution of human ecological relationships with the environment (six hours of lecture). We then explore the fascinating topic of infectious disease ecology from the perspective of both microbial and human evolutionary responses (nine hours of lecture). Next, we evaluate the fields of reproductive biology, gynecology, and infant/child health through an evolutionary lens (twelve hours of lecture). Finally, we examine evolutionary concepts in chronic metabolic and degenerative diseases associated with aging and lifestyle (ten hours of lecture).
Restricted To: IB majors on their 4th year during Phase I. IB majors during Phase II.
Expected Enrollment: 210