virus: Sexuality and monogamy

Reed Konsler (
Fri, 13 Sep 1996 21:40:59 -0400

Another book I'd look at if you are interested in medicine, aging, and
health from a genetic perspective:

"Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine" by Randolph M.
Nesse and George C. Williams. Published by Vintage Books (Random House),
New York, 1994.

This is a very good book. It's short (249 pages of text) but decently
footnoted for a "popularized" book. The writing is excellent, clear but
not condecending. The book is divided into neatly into chapters and
subsections which are interrelated but internally complete...which makes it
easy to read out of sequence and in short bits...lots of readily accesible
info for the proverbial person with no time. For the $13 you can't find a
better generalists guide to modern medicine.

One of it's sections deals specifically with senesence, aging, and the
failure of modern medicine to significantly increase the maximum human
lifespan. Advances have reduced your chance of death at birth (or by
giving birth) and during childhood 10 fold in the last 60 years. You
chance of death at 70 is still almost the same. As a result, average
lifespan has increased (Figure 8-1, p 110 is a decent graph...although
Tufte would kill whomever made the Y axis lograthmic with un-marked ticks)

>From the back cover: "By two copies and give one to your doctor."
- Richard Dawkins


Reed Konsler