George C. Williams

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The Iceland population of Anguilla eels contains an elevated frequency of fish with vertebral numbers lower than those typical of European localities. Several distinct hypotheses have been advanced to account for these morphologically atypical fish: for example, they could represent (1) genetically "pure" American expatriates, (2) genetically "pure"(More)
While evolution by natural selection has long been a foundation for biomedical science, it has recently gained new power to explain many aspects of disease. This progress results largely from the disciplined application of what has been called the adaptations program. We show that this increasingly significant research paradigm can predict otherwise(More)
Health promotion's promise is enormous, but its potential is, as yet, unmatched by accomplishment. Life expectancy increases track more closely with economic prosperity and sanitary engineering than with strictly medical advances. Notable achievements in the past century--the decreased incidences of epidemic infections, dental caries, and stomach(More)
Recent findings support the long-recognized principle that nutritive and toxic effects of an ingested material depend not only on its nature but very much on its quantity. The well known observation that essential nutrients can be toxic at high dosages suggests that the same reversal of effect may be true of many substances that could be beneficial but not(More)
Thoughtful contemplation of the human body elicits awe--in equal measure with perplexity. The eye, for instance, has long been an object of wonder, with the clear, living tissue of the cornea curving just the right amount, the iris adjusting to brightness and the lens to distance, so that the optimal quantity of light focuses exactly on the surface of the(More)
Diseases result usually from webs of interacting causes of enormous complexity, while human minds seek explanatory principles of extraordinary simplicity. This conflict gives rise to a central problem for medicine. Explanations of disease, and most programmes of medical research, tend to emphasize a single cause, while most diseases result from multiple(More)