A recent series of article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) discusses the role of evolutionary biology in modern medicine. The authors collectively make a forceful point – medicine is an applied science. It is based upon a number of basic sciences, and one of those basic sciences is evolution.
Many examples in medicine provide a compelling case that evolutionary principles are important to understanding populations, genetics, infectious disease, diet, and other issues of public health – in diagnosis, treatment, and research. Therefore, the authors argue, evolution is an important topic for medical professionals to understand .
Increasing the basic science standards for medical students can only help the goals of science-based medicine, and I am glad to see that evolutionary biology is being recognized as the core basic science that it is.