oa South African Medical Journal - Man's changing environment* : a study in human ecology

Volume 23, Issue 26
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



At this critical stage in man's social evolution, from primitive independent tribes to a closely integrated, highly evolved, world-wide society, various dangers threaten. Sudden physical changes in feeding habits, and in the pattern of posture and of neuro-muscular activity may be acting adversely upon man's physiology and psychology. Economic and political organization is net keeping pace with the greater and closer integration of the communities of men, and this sociological immaturity leaves the whole community of civilized man in danger of extinction by war. The pattern of behaviour of the individual has been destroyed by a growth of scepticism and a decay of the authority of conventions. This has led to bewilderment and neurosis. It is the duty of the medical profession to preserve and extend the life, health and happiness of humankind. It should therefore take a wider view of its mandate and study mans's adaptation to his changing environment, i.e. human ecology, and apply both to man and to his environment whatever regulation may be necessary to ensure that the adaptation shall be as harmonious as possible.

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