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Reject Evolution...? Die of cancer or infection

08 August 2013, 15:04

If you reject the principles of evolution – you’re faced with a dilemma; you must either hold your hand up and say “I’m a hypocrite” – or you must die.

What?....!!”, I hear you roar in outrage; and I appreciate that the connection might not be obvious without a bit of explanation and detail:

We all know that last year’s flu shots are useless this year.  We all know that yesteryear’s penicillin was fabulous to fight infection; but you might as well take vitamins for all the good it’ll do you today.  We all know there are now “super-bugs” and drug-resistant tuberculosis.

And – why do you suppose that is?

Well – the microbes were going about their business – trying to make a living, and along came us clever apes – who found a way to interfere with their ability to infect us, you know… to save ourselves those delights they delivered in their process.

Well… the weakest of those microbes were killed off along with their linage, but mutations between individuals always ensured that a few had adaptations that allowed them to slip through the net; to not die at our behest.  They lived… VOILA!... they had evolved just enough to get a new generation going.

I know this to be a fact far too well: Sadly – 15 years ago, my own mother succumbed to this sort of evolved microbe during a routine hospital exam.

To keep our antibiotics valid, the new branch of medicine – Evolutionary Medicine – got its start; and the war continues – battle after battle, offensive and counter-offensive.

Of course – as we slowly lose this evolving microbe vs anti-biotic fight; there is hope in the form of bacteriophage; viruses that attack the bacteria that are attacking us.  Trouble is, bacteriophage are very bacteria specific and not broad spectrum as are antibiotics.  The upside is that the bacteriophage will tend to evolve in lockstep with the bacteria; so overcoming that dilemma… but: we’ve all heard of the old lady who swallowed a fly… Well – given their preponderance to evolve; setting a virus to kill a bacteria might not be our smartest move in the long-run. 

But – I digress…

Many times on News24 I have said: “if you reject evolution but use either antibiotics or chemo – you are a hypocrite”, because, you vehemently denying the existence of a process, while enjoying the fruits of those who toil to understand and manipulate it for your benefit, does not mark you out as a reasonable or honest person.

It’s not a nice label, I grant you – but what other label would you suggest given the realities of what’s at play here?

Let’s make it a bit more personal: Too many of us will develop a cancer in life – there’s a better than even chance that you or a close friend or family member will sadly become a cancer victim.  Why, only this past Saturday I mourned the premature loss at 50 of a very close and deeply Christian friend of mine in America who succumbed to breast cancer.  You can only bet how the thousands at her vast church prayed for her recovery during the last 3 months – but, to no avail; apparently god was on leave or something.

She refused treatment – which, I have respect for.  She was honest enough to do so – perhaps she understood how that treatment is kept viable as cancers, too, evolve ahead of our best efforts to curtail them.

For a fascinating review of the details of this, earlier today I heard a professor talking about breakthroughs in this field discussing it on a podcast of “Doctor Karl & The Naked Scientists” from 8th July 2013.  Visit the link below and then move the cursor out to the 13m26s mark for the 5-minute interview:

As I noted earlier; the chances that you or your loved ones will suffer cancer at some stage – is terrifyingly high; I urge you to listen to that clip if for no other reason than to appreciate the direction treatments are taking; so that you’ll be better prepared when the inevitable occurs.  Please listen to it.

The gist of the discussion is that cancers evolve – quite quickly actually – and our treatments of them must keep pace through the implementation of evolutionary principles and evolutionary medicine or become ineffective.

Now… I know that some of you will howl and say you want to see an example of what you (wrongly) call “macro evolution” – correctly called “speciation” from beginning to end right before your very eyes.  And I will send you to a link for Ring Species – which you will decide is not enough evidence (because, of course, you are so qualified in the field that you feel that your opinion matters).  And then I’ll simply say this:

> “Time is a river that passes us in one direction only.  Our lifetime is like our stationary view somewhere along its bank; we see only a section of it – some point when it is in ‘this’ or ‘that’ state.  We may be at a point looking only at the simple damp patch at the watershed on a mountain, or at the torrent and wild gush when it’s a stream in mountains, or we may be lower down its reaches where it is navigable by ships – it may be the Amazon, so wide at its delta into the sea that it’s horizon-to-horizon breadth makes it impossible to define at what point river became ocean.”|

You only see that single frame of evolution that is in your timeframe; sorry, but that’s just the way it works – but the evidence of where that river came from is so certain as to be indisputable.  Indeed, I have been motivated to give one very good example of it in an essay to follow.  Hmmmm… I’ll call it “Common Descent’s Barcode in the Genome” – I’ll try get it uploaded today if I can.

But – to conclude:

If you use antibiotics or cancer treatments – I’m sorry… but you are casting your vote in favour of evolution being a reality.  You mouth may say something different, but your will to live is declaring loud and clear where your ‘beliefs’ really lie – they lie in science and the science of evolution.

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