Randolph M. Nesse, MD

Fields: Evolutionary medicine and evolutionary psychiatry
Goal: To understand why natural selection left us us vulnerable to disease
New book on evolutionary psychiatry      Order a copy
New article on evolutionary psychiatry

Research Professor of Life Sciences, and Founding Director (2014-2019), The Center for Evolution and Medicine, Arizona State University; Professor Emeritus, Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, and Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan; Founding President:  The International Society for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health

What is evolutionary medicine?           Darwinian medicine IS Evolutionary medicine. 
Core Principles for Evolutionary Medicine, 2019
Why do mental disorders persist? Book chapter, 2022
Evolutionary psychiatry: foundations, progress and challenges, World Psychiatry, 2023
How to frame and test evolutionary hypotheses about a disease      2 p. version
Tacit Creationism   Evolutionary psychiatry  
Diseases do not have direct evolutionary explanations. They are not adaptations shaped by natural selection .
However, traits that make a species vulnerable to disease need evolutionary explanations, and several may be needed. 

New Resources 

Selfish Genes & Good Reasons For Bad Feelings, video podcast on The Mind-Body Solution with Tevin Naidu, 2023 

2023 audio podcast  on "The Thinking Mind" with psychiatrist Alex Curmi on emotional disorders

2023 audio podcast on Stoicism, religion, morality, anxiety and depression on Stoa, with Caleb Ontiverso  

2023 Modern Wisdom Podcast with Chris Williamson on Evolution, Emotions and Psychiatry 

Evolutionary medicine, a 2023 slide talk overview of the 50+ Henry Stewart Talks series on evolutionary medicine 

Can Evolution Explain Human Emotions? -YouTube Modern Wisdom Podcast 542 with Chris Williamson

Talks on Evolutionary Medicine at University of Milano-Bicocca, June 2023 (my talk starts at 15:30)

The Saad Truth vIdeo podcast 2023

Evolutionary Psychiatry: A lecture with slides and audio for the Henry Stuart Talks series of 51 presentations on evolutionary medicine (open access until September, 2023)

Why depression exists: Panel discussion on Television Ontario, The Agenda, with Steve Palin, 2023

Evolutionary psychiatry: foundations, progress and challenges, World Psychiatry, 2023
See also the related editorial by Jerry Wakefield

Video podcast on Emotions, Evolution, and Evolutionary Psychiatry on the 2023 Painting Onions YouTube Channel

Can Evolution Explain Human Emotions? YouTube video of a Modern Wisdom Podcast with Chris Williamson

A 2022 article by Raghavendra Gadagkar that provides a wonderful overview of evolutionary medicine in historical context. 

A six minute YouTube video about the Smoke Detector Principle

Nature Nurture Video Podcast 2022 on Good (Evolutionary) Reasons for Bad Feelings

Why do mental disorders persist? Evolutionary foundations for psychiatry. 2022 Chapter in Evolutionary Psychiatry

Anxiety disorders in evolutionary perspective. 2022 Chapter in Evolutionary Psychiatry

Why do mental disorders persist? Evolving Psychiatry 2022 video podcast (17 min.)

The Evolution of Anxiety  Evolving Psychiatry 2022 video podcast (16 min.)

Why Relationships Exist: Evolutionary Foundations for Psychotherapy
Video of a 2022 talk for the World Psychiatry Association

Baba Brinkman's rap video on emotions. And his 2022 rap on control systems and medicine

Evolutionary Psychiatry A narrated slideshow on HSTalks (not open access)

Nesse (2022) Social Situations Shape Social Emotions that Benefit Genes

Why hasn't natural selection eliminated mental disorders: a talk for The College of Psychiatrists of Ireland

Intrinsically vulnerable control systems and disease heritability, 13 minute video for 2022 ClubEvMed

Nesse, RM (1984) An evolutionary perspective on psychiatry.  (a new posting of my first article about evolutionary psychiatry)

Book Review: Problems of Living: Perspectives from Philosophy, Psychiatry and Cognitive Affective Science by Dan Stein 2022

Evolutionary Psychiatry 40 minute 2021 talk for Abertay University (talk starts at 3 minutes).

Evolutionary Medicine Needs Engineering Expertise a 2021 article for NAE Perspectives about control theory & disease.

Tacit Creationism articles

Why is group selection still such a problem? BBS, 1994 and sadly still relevant. 

Why Bad feelings are usually normal but useless. Video of a 12 min talk for HBES 2021. 

Podcast on evolutionary psychiatry with Renee Garfinkel for the 2021 Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

Twitter threads on evolution and psychiatry

Video of 52 Living Ideas MeetUp discussion about Good Reasons for Bad Feelings, 2021

Video of Grand Rounds, Tufts University Department of Psychiatry, 2021 

Podcast Varför mår vi så dåligt? (in English) with the Stockholm psychiatrist/author/podcaster Åsa Nilsonne about evolution and desire. 

Psychology Today adaptation of book chapter on psychiatric genetics

Lecture on Evolutionary Psychiatry for a 2021 class at Oxford University

Article on Tacit Creationism in Emotions Research   Video now posted

Podcast from the Jordan Harbinger show

Podcast by Thoughts on Record about how evolutionary thinking can help psychotherapists

Video from 2020 Grand Rounds at the U Arizona Department of Psychiatry

Podcast on The Smoke Detector Principle for Big Biology

 Buy on Amazon       Full Book Information Here


A list of articles organized by topic

A link to most articles in a web folder

Highly Cited

Click here for a list of articles by topic

Here is a link to most articles in a web folder

Book: Why We Get Sick
Book: Evolution and Commitment