Understanding Evolution

Abstract of the chapter

Understanding evolution

Ingrid Grueso

In the first volume of “Evolutionary Medicine: Pluridisciplinary Contributions”, the expression “Natural Selection” is used 16 times, excluding those found in the glossary. This is not really noticeable, since the book is a monograph about Evolutionary Medicine. However, while the Seminars and Conferences in Evolutionary Medicine take place, we regularly hear some of the participants speaking mistakenly about biological evolution.

There is a widespread confusion about Evolution, affecting even academics and people with an extensive education, sometimes with a scientific background. For example, the doctors, main participants in the conferences of Evolutionary Medicine, have not received the intensive education in evolution that the biologists have enjoyed. This, along the fact that there are common mistakes in the comprehension of evolution, can lead to misunderstandings and inaccuracies in our conclusions.

Aware of the impossibility of explaining the Theory of Evolution, or even solving every single doubt, in a chapter of a monograph, still we’ll try here to show certain basic concepts to avoid some of the most common mistakes. So, if you have a limited knowledge about evolution, this chapter might help you to understand several notions, and if you have an extensive comprehension in evolution, then it might just be an entertainment, or a way to be critical with previous knowledge.