Survival of the Sickest

Topics: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Evolution Pages: 3 (850 words) Published: June 21, 2013
Survival of the Sickest, written by author Dr. Sharon Moalem, is a book discussing why evolution has not allowed for the destruction of certain diseases. He states that these deadly diseases, such as Anemia, Hemochromatosis, and High Cholesterol, are in fact tools that evolution used to help the human race survive. He explains how these diseases helped fight against more dangerous and life threatening sicknesses such as, Malaria, the Bubonic Plague, and Vitamin D deficiency related illnesses. The main idea of this book is a simple one. Evolution did not necessarily favor adaptations that made us better. Instead, it favored adaptations that helped us survive. Even if these adaptations would end up killing us in the long run.

This book is written in a very light-hearted and readable style. The author uses lower level vocabulary and humor to keep the reader engaged. He also uses very understandable examples to explain complex medical language. He talks the reader through genetics in a simple and slow writing technique that makes it easy to comprehend complex situations. He does not rush through topics or use high level vocabulary that could possibly confuse the reader and cause them to become disengaged in the book. Instead he thoroughly explains each topic in numerous styles so that all readers can understand what he is trying to tell them. An example of this simple and somewhat humorous explanation technique he uses can be found in the way he tells the reader about why humans have evolved to fend off diseases better than any other species. He says, 'Essentially, animals with a greater risk of being eaten evolve to live shorter lives'so it evolves to reach adulthood faster. At the same time there's never any real evolutionary pressure to evolve mechanisms to repair DNA errors that occur over time because most individuals in the species don't live long enough to experience those errors. You wouldn't buy an extended warranty on an iPod if you were only going to...
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