Seeking Symmetry: A Better Path to Health offers a guide through the overwhelming mass of data generated by contemporary science. Starved for the knowledge that would best help us stay healthy, we are simultaneously glutted with an overload of information about the human body. Amidst ubiquitous talk that patient-centered care and lifestyle changes are the keys to personal health, self-neglect and medical overtreatment nevertheless prevail.
The body is rich with symmetries, many of them unknown to us who live in these bodies. Symmetry-seeking reveals certain patterns for understanding the information we have about the body, patterns whose roots lie in embryonic development and in evolution.
- The book’s exploration will guide readers through the parts of their own bodies and introduce tangible, visible examples of symmetry, not only right and left but up and down, male and female, inside and out, as well as symmetries between humans and other species.
- It presents the symmetries of the body’s internal structures that, despite their complexity, are nevertheless simple to understand when viewed with an eye for pattern.
- Through both words and images, this book will illustrate the most foundational of the principles, structures, and processes that decide how bodies function.
- A core purpose of the book is to present this knowledge through a lens that makes the information meaningful, by modeling the habit of symmetry-seeking.
By the nature of its purpose, the scope of the book is expansive and interdisciplinary, using art and story to reach beyond medicine and human anatomy into evolutionary biology, agriculture, and food science. Offering a model researchers can use to reimagine new research initiatives, the book applies symmetry-seeking to practical examples from a few representative arenas such as problems in food, contemporary farming, and the pharmaceutical industry. While the book will cite contemporary research across multiple disciplines, its main objective is to spark new thinking and incite any reader, including clinicians and researchers, to make interdisciplinary connections between existing data and their personal observations.
PART ONE: Symmetries in the human body
Chapter 1: Human architecture: harmonics and proportion
Chapter 2: Heads over tails: mermaids and evolution
Chapter 3: The whole body, with its hidden symmetries
PART TWO: Contemporary mismatches with our ancient design
Chapter 4: Hormones, the common currency across species
Chapter 5: Pharmaceutical agents and their indiscriminate actions
Chapter 6: Foods that fuel the fire: the impact of diet
PART THREE: Institutional systems and personal choices
Chapter 7: Changes in farming and consequences for health
Chapter 8: A medical industry outpaced by the food industry
Chapter 9: Using our heads: how symmetry informs personal choices