I am majoring in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in health and society and a cognate in anthropology. There is a clear correlation between evolution and every aspect of what I am studying; as it focuses on the study of humans, particularly pertaining to health and how that interacts with our sociological structures. Without adequate knowledge of evolution, one could not possibly have a firm grasp on the subjects and therefore could not succeed in their field due to the fact that they would not know how to predict or help improve any health-related issues. As Alton and Alton pointed out, evolution is the framework of biology. If one cannot understand the biological (specifically the behavioral or genealogical) reason as to why something is happening when pertaining to a biological issue, then there could be no hope for them finding a solution to that problem.
Alton and Alton provide a perfect example of this when they describe how in our western society, antibiotics are abundantly prescribed for an endless number of illnesses- so much so that people are starting to become immune to it, which obviously serves as a huge issue because there are no alternate options in many cases. If scientists didn’t have an understanding on evolution, they would have never found out that it was due to the fact that pathogens were being naturally selected toward resistance, and they wouldn’t have the information to start searching for an alternative. Similarly, Alton and Alton point out that pathogens can also evolve resistance to the body’s natural defenses. “The virulence of pathogens can also evolve rapidly, so understanding the coevolution of the human immune system and the pathogens that attack it help scientists track and predict disease outbreaks”.
From an anthropological perspective, natural selection is essentially the answer key to figuring out why people behave, look, develop, etc. the way they do today. Paleoanthropologists can look at the skeletal remains of beings that lived thousands of years ago and compare them to ours to determine how and why we look and behave the way we do today. Primatology and physical anthropology are essentially the study of evolution. Natural selection is essential when studying anthropology. They are inseparable.
Majoring in “interdisciplinary studies” essentially means striving for broad knowledge over a wide range of disciplines so as to understand an issue from multiple different perspectives. Instances similar to those listed above can be found in psychology, sociology, and every subcategory of biology there is. By understanding evolution (or at least loosely grasping the concept- we still are not fully aware of everything that goes on evolutionarily), I will be much more equipped to answer difficult questions using all of the different disciplines because I will have an idea of where each one derives from- i.e. the “framework”. I had never thought of evolution being such a key aspect in everything that I am currently studying and everything that I will be spending my life working on. The videos have truly opened my eyes not only to how influential natural selection has been on our history, but also how it affects our day-to-day existence and, most importantly, our future.