chapter  1
Evolution and human disease: Bridging the biology/ culture gap
Bridging the biology/culture
ByBasiro Davey
Pages 12

The starting point for this chapter is a desire to ‘clear the decks’ of some old cargo concerning the antipathy between sociology and biology in the hope of not tripping over it later. Without this baggage, it becomes easier to make the case in what follows that an evolutionary perspective helps to integrate biological and sociological perspectives on human disease. The proposition that human culture (used here as a shorthand for human social interactions, structures and the products of social organization) cannot be split off from biological processes, except as a temporary act of mind, is supported by examples of interactions between biological and cultural evolution which have profoundly influenced patterns of human disease. The chapter ends with some reflections on how a biological perspective might inspire sociological interest in human evolution.