I was commenting on a blog that was about how evolution is false etc, and the author wrote me back asking me (among other things) if there were any practical everyday effects of evolution science.
I do not think they expected there to be any. Here is the latter half of my response:
As far as the practical effects of evolution on modern humans, we can use the dynamics of evolution to predict how diseases will evolve before they do, which is what makes the development of vaccines possible (because scientists use evolution science to predict what form the virus will take in the near future, then manufacture, distribute and administer vaccines based on a virus that does not yet exist, but will by the time the vaccines are used up). A healthy understanding of evolution is also vital in treating serious bacterial infections which will adapt to one strain of antibiotics before a course of treatment is through, and it’s vitally important that your doctor know about evolution to treat cancer since most types of cancer evolve resistances to chemo therapy and your doctor has to monitor you closely for signs that the cancer has evolved so he can switch to another course of treatment quickly. Also supercomputers simulate evolution by natural selection and use the ingenuity of the trial-and-error process of evolution to design things like more aerodynamic airplane wings, stronger bridges etc by simulating reproduction and mutation and letting them “evolve” artificially and re-design themselves. Furthermore of the many positive genetic mutations found in humans such as those giving stronger bones, greater muscle density, tolerance to high carb diets, resistance to altitude sickness and resistance or immunity to diseases like HIV and malaria, many of them are being researched for potential medical applications. But my favorite has got to be capitalism, which only works because of it’s mathematical similarity to darwinian evolution. Oh yeah, and evolutionary algorithms in computer programming.