Monday, January 21, 2013

First Blogging Assignment

Hello everyone!

My name is Maddy Thomas. I am a sophomore in Speech and Hearing Science. When I was browsing through the course catalog for a class this semester, I stumbled on this class and was instantly interested. I enjoy biology more than any other science, and have always found diseases and the human body fascinating. I have also never taken an anthropology class, despite the fact that I've always thought it was an intriguing area of study. I'm glad I will be getting the chance to explore the combination of these two studies.

After doing some research, I found a couple of blogs that I think are relevant to this class.

The Skeptical Adaptationist
How is Darwinian medicine useful?
"Darwinian Medicine"

The one I found the most interesting was the third blog. In particular, there is a section on some of the classic symptoms we experience when we’re sick that I found really relevant. These symptoms, such as coughing, vomiting, fevers, and even pain in general, are typically seen as nuisances, and we tend to simply take a pill to relieve these symptoms. However, sometimes it doesn’t occur to us that these are actually evolutionary defenses. Some of them would be obvious; vomiting can rid the body of toxins, and pain serves as a warning to stay away from things or activities that can harm the body. But some are not so obvious, like fevers. According to the blog, the body’s rising temperature could actually help to kill the infections within the body. Furthermore, it’s been shown that people who suffer a fever during a bout of the flu tend to recover more quickly than people who take fever-reducing medicine in order to be more comfortable. I find this fascinating because this is actually my approach when I am sick: to let my body take care of itself, as it was meant to do. Others tell me that I should take medicines, but I argue against it for the reasons this article explains. The rest of the article is a wealth of information on other topics that may be influenced by evolution and Darwinian medicine, such as psychological disorders and the concept of “coping with novelty”.

In conclusion, I am looking forward to taking this class, especially now that I have done some background research on it.

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