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[Editorial] What can evolutionary theory do for public health?

Evolution is perhaps the most basic scientific theory. Some would say it is the most powerful. And yet its application to health and medicine is vastly underutilised. Evolutionary theory insists we understand the body not as a product of design but of natural selection. As Nesse and Stearns have previously argued, “bodies are vulnerable to disease—and remarkably resilient—precisely because they are not machines built from a plan. They are, instead, bundles of compromises shaped by natural selection in small increments to maximize reproduction, not health.”

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