Evolution and Your World

Two things hold folks' attention better than anything else: themselves and things that affect them. This part covers both topics, beginning with human evolution to explain where we came from (out of Africa), whether we're unique among all the animals in creation (it turns out that we aren't; quite a few other hominid species preceded us, and a couple even shared the Earth with us for a while), and how we continue to evolve.

The remainder of the part delves into antibiotic resistance and the evolution of two scourges: HIV and influenza. Why the shift from the exalted Us to the microbial Them? Because these buggers can and do wreak havoc on humans by evolving so quickly and in response to the very medications we use to fight them. Perhaps you've seen on the news that bacteria have "acquired" or "developed" antibiotic resistance. Those are just other ways of saying that these bacteria have evolved resistance to our antibiotics — a problem that we need to stay on top of.

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