A few weekends ago University of Maryland Medical Center held their annual conference (started in 1995) during which doctors meet and attempt to identify the mysterious illness(es) that killed Darwin. I found it somewhat fitting that while during Darwin's time no diagnosis could be made, as medicine has continued to evolve the same questions and illnesses are recycled in order to aid in the development and evolution of the field itself. I like the idea that even events of the past, that a are long gone, and pose no significant selective pressure to a species continue to be used as lessons for the future. I find it most fitting that Darwin's death is used as the mystery case. While I expected that by this point a diagnosis had been made and the conference was just for sport, I was surprised to read that his diagnosis is still being ironed out. Over the years Darwin has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, hypochondria, appendicitis, and most recently he was diagnoses with a combination of cyclic vomiting syndrome, Chagas disease and Helicobacter pylori. While initially I though of the ideas of evolution and recycling to be complete opposites (where recycling is the breaking down and then reconstructing an object), I think this conference provides an example where recycling fuels evolution. I think this is the case in other instances as well, but to me this relationship is not well defined.
(for more information on Darwin's death)