[UCP Books]: Body by Darwin: How Evolution Shapes Our Health and Transforms Medicine

“Taylor has accomplished the difficult feat of appealing to the general reader in a book aimed also at medical professionals. Doctors really do need to imbibe Darwinism, not just as the explanation for all life but as a message of direct importance to medicine itself.”

Richard Dawkins, author of The Greatest Show on Earth


Body by Darwin

How Evolution Shapes Our Health and Transforms Medicine
Jeremy Taylor



US Publication Date: October 30, 2015 UK Publication Date: November 16, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0-226-05988-4
Cloth $30.00/£21.00


From the common cold to our aching backs, our sicknesses and complaints have deeper origins than the germs and behaviors we regularly fault. In fact, as Jeremy Taylor shows in Body by Darwin, we can trace the roots of many medical conditions through our evolutionary history, revealing what has made us susceptible to certain illnesses and ailments over time as well as how we can use that knowledge to help treat or prevent problems in the future.    

Integrating science with engaging stories from actual patients and doctors, Taylor not only explores the impact of evolution on human form and function, but he examines the overall implications for our health. Among the examples are close looks at the impact of evolution on diseases of the eye, the medical consequences of bipedalism as they relate to those aches and pains in our backs and knees, the rise of Alzheimer’s disease, and how walking upright and giving birth to ever-larger babies has led to a problematic compromise in the design of the female spine and pelvis.  As Taylor shows, evolutionary medicine allows us think about the human body and its adaptations in a completely new and productive way.
Jeremy Taylor was previously a senior producer and director for BBC Television, and he has made numerous science films for the Discovery Channel and Learning Channel, among others. He is also the author of Not a Chimp: The Hunt to Find the Genes that Make Us Human. He lives in London and is available for interviews. Please contact Carrie Olivia Adams at coa@uchicago.edu or 773.702.4216.


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