Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sparking Interest

My name is Cara and I am a History major with a minor in Anthropology. I am taking this course because after taking Anthropology 143 I really fell in love with the subject. Taking cultural Anthropology classes helped me to see how imperative it is to understand the biological aspect of the field as well. I hope to gain a deeper understanding of how the two work together through this course. In my quest for blogs that pertain to this course I really had to think about how we as humans have evolved in relation to the stressors in our lives. The blog Asthma Mom Life is the blog of a mom with three asthmatic children who are often plagued by attacks from their surroundings. Dr. Clancy mentioned in our first class about hand sanitizer not allowing us to be exposed to enough of the natural germs in our environment being a greater hazard to health then if we don’t use hand sanitizer at all. Scrolling through this blog revealed a similar phenomenon. This mom religiously changes her children pillows and sanitizes their home and they continue to have asthma attacks.

Another interesting blog post pertaining to the idea of evolutionary disease and medicine was the blog Modern Paleo. After reading chapter one of the book and listening to Dr. Clancy, it is obvious that our diet and exercise regime  (or lack thereof) has been significantly altered since our nomad days. This blog strives to share the tips and tricks of our ancestors to lead more healthy lives. Paleo foods and recipes are raw in material, meaning no processed flour, sugar, or oil. This is essentially the opposite of what we eat every day. Modernpaleo consists of raw food recipes and basic but effective exercise regimes that would make our forefathers proud.

One final blog that I found interesting in the realm of this topic was Molly Wangen-Becker’s Research Blog. I found especially interesting the blog post concerning how psychological diseases and shortcomings have survived the natural selection process. This article affected me the most because I personally believe that we are all individually affected by some sort of mental instability. Lately, many violent acts committed by people who are affected by these psychological diseases have impacted our country. Also, as a future teacher, I recognize that many of these illnesses appear in adolescence and early adult hood. The evolutionary development of these diseases is incredibly impactful to my career. Wangen-Becker writes that because these diseases have just become known recently, there has not been enough time for the natural selection process to eliminate them from the gene pool. This is significant to me because it means that many of my students will still be at risk to inheriting psychological disease.


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