This article reviews several examples of gene studies, focused on specific phenotypes, including: nutrition, infectious disease and climate adaptation, to whole genome scans for natural selection. The most common approach used has been the analysis of associations in candidate genes, using case–control studies. Family-based approaches have also become widely used, unmasking large numbers of loci, associated with susceptibility to diseases. Using those types of approaches allows for an evolutionary based perspective to be implemented in understanding the dynamics of human disease. This dynamic can be seen in the variation of the globin genes, possibly leading to resistance from malaria. This article suggests that the evolutionary perspective on variation can confirm, or refute, the biological relevance of a candidate gene in human survival. While also using whole genome approaches, it can unmask genes having been of major biological importance for our species; either at the level of our species as a whole or involved in local adaptation. This assessment can also predict the effects of genes in human diseases, namely the evolutionary fate of alleles. This article is overall just a summary and review of many different research papers into one cohesive paper. However, it is a bit hard to follow the point that the author is attempting to make at certain points. The cited articles are much more in depth for their areas and present the information fluidly.