Evolution or Counter Evolution? Piero Vallarino Gancia


As the human race has evolved so has the medicine that it produced. Today, the field of medicine is so specialized that you end up knowing everything about nothing. By this I mean that scientists and researchers spend their lives in deciphering what happens in one particular reaction. This accumulated bank of knowledge in chemistry and biology however, has permitted us to reach unprecedented goals such as eradicating the plague or producing medicine that permits AIDS patients to live their lives fully.


The bubonic plague also known as the Black Death that affected Europe throughout most of the 14th century was one of the deadliest epidemics in human history. About 75 million people died. There is no way these guys imagined someone would come up with a cure for this disease in the future.


It is estimated that by the end of the century we will be able to cure all forms all cancer and will have eradicated malaria and other epidemics that continue today. But what will happen in the prolonged future is what I want to know.


As medicine evolves, our human organisms have to evolve less as everything is provided to them from an external input. Imagine how a caveman’s liver 5000 years ago must have been developed to crank up all that raw food he eated. We are the evolution of this caveman so we should have a more developed liver than his. But we are certainly not the last step in the evolution of our species. When we take all these medicines that make us stronger and more resistant we are preventing our bodies to evolve as we do not depend anymore on our genes for survival but on our medicine.


I am not saying that medicine is wrong and by no means am I against the development of cures for monstrous epidemics that occur in Africa and that kill 1000 of children every year.


But where are we headed? Do we face extinction? Will we become infertile like in Children of Men?


There is no definite answer to that, as there is still no definite answer with the field of Genetically Modified foods and their effect on the human beings.


What is intriguing is that we do not consider these future consequences but live continuously stuck in the present. What if we are causing our dis – evolution by not allowing  our genes to evolve? All this is scary but never taken in consideration. The risk though — and many doctors themselves have already affirmed this — exists.


Are the doctors who take the Hippocratic oath still protecting their patients by doing this?


Perhaps, our evolutionary path has changed for good and the parameters for the continuation of our species lie beyond our physical characteristics. It is possible that our intellect will be the next deciding factor as tall height was in some tribes in Africa.


We have reached new heights in our medicine surely, challenging evolution and sometimes death. Where this will lead us only the future will tell.


Perhaps this is our collective path to mass extinction, I hope for the opposite. 


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