Hi, my name is Eirik Garnas, and I’m the creator and owner of Darwinian-Medicine.com.
I started reading up on health, nutrition, and medicine because I was looking for ways to improve my health & fitness condition, which has been an element of frustration and pain in my life. When I started digging into the scientific literature I quickly learned that a lot of what we as a society hold true about health & nutrition is flawed or straight out incorrect, and I realised that mainstream medicine fails at addressing the true causes of many ills. Perhaps most importantly, I discovered that nothing in medicine or nutrition fully makes sense except in the light of evolution.
My health & medical credo
I’m of the belief that evolutionary science should be widely integrated into the world of health and medicine, and that species-appropriate diet and lifestyle interventions and microbiome restoration should become a routine part of medical care.
The phrase below, coined by me, embodies this belief.
Medicine without evolution is like legs without feet.
I’ve also made the somewhat audacious statement that…
All disease can be understood via evolutionary thinking.
Credentials and experience
- M.Sc. in Clinical Nutrition
- B.Sc. in Public Nutrition
- Personal trainer from the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
- Courses in sales/coaching, kettlebells, body analysis, and functional rehabilitation
- Several years’ experience with personal training, nutritional counseling, and health coaching (See client testimonials)
- Writer for various health-oriented websites and magazines, including Paleo Magazine, the first and only print magazine dedicated to Paleo and ancestral health, ThePTDC.com (The Personal Trainer Development Center), and Pete Evans’ website ThePaleoWay.com
- Teaching: Physical education and chess (Primary schools)
A little more about me
Ever since I first started getting interested in nutrition, exercise, and health many years ago, I’ve felt a need to figure out what it takes to build a healthy and fit body. At the beginning of this journey, my beliefs and practises were shaped by conventional wisdom, official dietary guidelines, and fitness/bodybuilding sites.
I felt like I was doing everything society deemed as healthy and faithfully adhered to the practises that were promoted within the fitness community, but despite this, I wasn’t getting the results I was hoping for. Not only that, but my health was getting worse, and as a result, my strength and fitness levels eventually started to plummet.
What was going on?
Fueled by a desire to “crack the code”, I began reading about physiology, biology, nutrition, and exercise. At first, this was a very strenuous and time-consuming endeavor, due to the fact that I, like so many others, had never learned that it’s impossible to understand how to eat healthy, train correctly, and otherwise design a healthy lifestyle without looking back at the millions of years of evolution that shaped our bodies and minds. There is so much information out there, and with no framework and limited knowledge about the human body, it was very difficult to distinguish the good stuff from the bad.
Over the next several years I tried numerous diets, exercise regimes, drugs, supplements, etc., but nothing really seemed to give me a feeling of good health and well-being. However, all of the reading and self-experimentation slowly started to yield fruits, and I began to put together the pieces.
One of the major things I learned is that nothing in biology, medicine, or nutrition makes sense except in the light of evolution. The most powerful idea in all of biology is Darwin’s theory of evolution via natural selection. I came to learn that principles of Darwinian medicine and evolutionary biology can – and should – be applied to all facets of health and fitness.
I also started to dig deeper into human genetics and learned that 99% of the genetic material associated with the human body has historically been neglected. Medicine has largely focused on the eukaryotic part of the human “superorganism”, while neglecting the microbial one. This is concerning, considering that we are actually more microbe than man and that microbes have a significant impact on both our physical and mental health.
I’ve opened my eyes. What I see is that there is an epidemic of poor health in our world. I’ve come to find that conventional wisdom is often wrong or incorrect, mainstream dietary advice contributes to making a lot of people sick, doctors commonly fail to address the underlying causes of disease, and evolutionary theory is rarely considered in the context of health and disease. This is not to say that there aren’t any champions out there who are genuinely interested in helping people or that we haven’t excelled in certain areas; however, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of room for improvement. Without a basic framework for understanding health and medicine, all we have are guidelines, treatments, and beliefs spread all over the place.
I began writing about nutrition, exercise, microbes, and other aspects of human health because I wanted to gather and share my ideas and discoveries and potentially help others steer clear of the mistakes I’ve made.
Socrates once said that “Wisdom is knowing how little we know.” I now feel that I have a fairly good understanding of medicine and nutrition and that the fundamentals of my health & fitness philosophy are fairly well established and solid. That said, I do recognize that there’s a lot I don’t know. On this site, I’m vocal about my beliefs; however, I try to remain humble and open-minded.