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Race and the Genetic RevolutionScience, Myth, and Culture$
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Sheldon Krimsky and Kathleen Sloan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156974

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156974.001.0001

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Evolutionary Versus Racial Medicine

Evolutionary Versus Racial Medicine

Why it Matters

Chapter:
(p.142) 8 Evolutionary Versus Racial Medicine
Source:
Race and the Genetic Revolution
Author(s):

Joseph L. Graves

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231156974.003.0008

This chapter examines the fallacies of racialized medicine, and how an evolutionary approach to medicine can contribute toward the elimination of health disparities. Racialized medicine begins with the notion that biological races exist within modern humans, which follows that there are significant racialized differences in the prevalence of diseases between groups. Furthermore, racial medicine asserts that the predominant cause of these prevalence disparities is genetic differences. Thus, racial medicine would assert that doctors can reliably predict an individual's disease predisposition based on their race. On the other hand, evolutionary medicines's premise is that disease results from one or a combination of five basic causes: infection, novel environments, genes, design compromises, and evolutionary legacies. The chapter concludes by explaining how the use of racialized medicine illustrates the fact that mortality and morbidity have always been strongly influenced by social conditions.

Keywords:   racialized medicine, evolutionary medicine, health disparities, biological races, modern humans, genetic differences, disease predisposition, mortality, morbidity

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