Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease - Sharon Moalem (2007)
I hope that you’ll come away from this book with an appreciation of three things. First, that life is in a constant state of creation. Evolution isn’t over—it’s all around you, changing as we go. Second, that nothing in our world exists in isolation. We—meaning humans and animals and plants and microbes and everything else—are all evolving together. And third, that our relationship with disease is often much more complex than we may have previously realized.
Life after all is a complicated gift—an almost impossible assemblage of biology, chemistry, electricity, and engineering that adds up to a miraculous whole so much greater than the sum of its parts. The entire universe is geared toward disorder. Given all the forces pulling for disorder, it’s a wonder that we live at all—and as long and as well as most of us do. Which is why, instead of taking our health for granted, we should appreciate it with the reverence it deserves.
When you make that mental leap—when you think of the amazing gift of your health and your life in the context of all the nearly incomprehensible forces of the universe pulling toward chaos—it reorients you, imbuing you with a deep respect for the immensely beautiful and intricate design of life on earth. Life that has been created and re-created again and again through billions of years of trial and toil. Something so complicated and time-consuming that it has to be a labor of love.
The more we learn about the unbelievably complex, immensely varied, and yet simultaneously simple origin and development of life on earth, the more it looks like a miracle, and one that is still unfolding.
The miracle of evolution.