Evolutionary Mismatches: 6 Videos That Explain Why We Get Sick

DNAI talk a lot about evolutionary mismatches here on Darwinian-Medicine.com – and for good reason. Many, if not most, of the chronic ills that affect contemporary human populations are caused by a mismatch between genes and environment. By combining the evolutionary discordance/mismatch model with other key concepts of Darwinian Medicine (e.g., trade-offs), we get a conceptual framework that helps guide our understanding of health and disease.

I’ve explained the theory behind evolutionary mismatches many times here on the site before and discussed what we can do to resolve the conflict that exists between the human genome and our current environment. I’m not going to do that again here. Rather, I want to share a couple of short videos that provide an introduction to the evolutionary mismatch concept and go into the causes of some of the most prevalent mismatch diseases in our society today.

These clips are a part of a larger collection of videos on evolution and medicine by professor Stephen Stearns that I came across shortly after they were published online. I watched most of the 65 clips and was very impressed with the quality of the material. The videos on mismatches are particularly relevant to the things I talk about here on Darwinian-Medicine.com, so I figured I would share them here on the blog. I highly recommend these 6 videos, as well as the rest of the clips in the series, to everyone who is interested in health, evolution, and medicine and wants to learn more about the true causes of chronic disease.


Evidence from time and space


Type 2 diabetes

Heart disease and cancer

Hygiene and Old Friends

Picture: Designed by Freepik


  1. […] books, and videos that delve into the science of Darwinian medicine (e.g., here, here, and here). However, I have yet to put up a post that contains both a list and short description of my […]

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