MathBench > Environmental Science

Evolved Immunity

Evolution and immunity

The screens above contained a made-up example of evolution. The point is to show you that evolution is an inevitable process that will happen anytime members of a species differ, and they can pass their differences on to their offspring, and the differences allow some to survive better than others.

Evolution in 3 generations would be very fast, but there are many examples of evolution that take only a few years or decades. For example:

Neverthesless most evolution takes a much longer time (millions of years), for example:

What’s interesting is that all my examples of fast evolution involve the immune system – basically, the part of your physiology that keeps you (or a zucchini hopper, or a bacteria) from getting sick.

So new diseases happen all the time, but our immune systems can evolve to deal with them. Likewise, we humans create new pesticides all the time, but the pests have immune systems that evolve to block pesticides. And we create new antibiotics, which bacteria can evolve to block.