Every once in a while, a blog post comes out something out of this world, in my opinion. I think this is one of them. Tell me if it’s special to you too.
An important part is based on writings by Lewis Thomas (1913-1993).
I explain how we could upgrade our bodies, eventually, so that we will never get infections anymore. I added how, one day, we may even have alternatives to eating and breathing. I told you: something special.
Reading this post may have a lasting impact on you. Your awareness might never be as confined again. Am I right? Please, let me know.
It’s not something you must read now. In ten years, it’ll be as fresh. But maybe during a pandemic, it would speak to you more.
First of all, a word for those who say that if you believe in the Hebrew Bible, you can’t believe in Evolution Theory.
Warrior against modernist corruption of Orthodox Judaism in Germany, Chief Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch (1808-1888), opined that if this idea (it was not a Scientific Theory yet) of Evolution turns out a worthy scientific concept, that should not worry believers in Creation. Palestine’s First Chief Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935) was of the same opinion.
Let me add, why would one ‘allow’ G^d to use Gravity but not Evolution?
NB: The two (!) Creation Stories in the Hebrew Bible are not pretending to be descriptions of what happened, like a perfect police report or history lesson. Rather, they are Divine Teachings. They are True in the sense that no letter of them may be doubted or changed because that would change the Teachings — not because that would argue their descriptive veracity.
If we were smart enough, we would ask, why does the human body allow bacteria and viruses to take over our cells and have them mass produce these microbes and infect other people? The old analogy of a ‘hostile enemy’ does not hold water. Human pathogens seem to have the keys to our cells. These keys are highly specific. Why didn’t we change the lock?
I was not so brilliant to ask (and answer) this question. When still a medical student, I read part of the book The Lives of a Cell. It’s a collection of pieces Lewis Thomas, 1913-1993, wrote for the New England Journal of Medicine. Published in 1974, it went through many reprints and eventually, was translated into 11 other languages. Even today, after so many years, this classic holds an eye-opening if not jaw-dropping text. Many of the author’s brain waves were far ahead of their time, and still so even today. Especially about the interconnectedness of all life and the inanimate. What a genius.
Thomas suggests that in the very olden days, cell intrusions by tiny cell-like creatures, greatly enriched our cells. Now, most living cells (including most human ones) contain organelles without which they could not survive for long, that generate all energy for them. Animal cells’ mitochondria and plant cells’ chloroplasts (with their own genetic materials!), clearly were once intruders. Also, our DNA seems to have inserted ‘foreign’ genes.
Clearly, these breaches were at times so enhancing that our cells did not dare to close the door to more chance encounters like that. So much so that they rather risked sickness and death than to say, enough already.
That must be the reason why we rub our noses and eyes all the time.
There was a problem with the old metaphor of our innocent body being attacked and overpowered by vile enemy microorganisms, once we understood that we were the ones who gave them the keys to the front door of the palace. Rather, we kept dreaming that the next intruder might be the prince on the white horse we had been waiting for all our lives.
But now, we could say: enough. People are not exchangeable creatures. Each of us is a world in ourselves of infinite value. We cannot risk anyone more to die. We need to upgrade our body but manually and deliberately, not as a game of Russian roulette or on the basis of trial and error.
First, we need to change the lock. No more access to our cells from the outside. If we’d find a beneficial microbe, we’ll take charge and insert it — without Evolution’s time-consuming and costly paths of ruthless Nature.
Like chloroplasts. They use sunlight to make energy and O2 from CO2 for plant cells. We probably could use that as an extra way to dump our carbon dioxide and get oxygen and calories! (And all look like the Hulk.) Or like changing our DNA back to producing Vitamin C so that we don’t need to eat fresh fruit. (Once, one point mutation took that ability away from us.) Or us Caucasians getting back the natural melanin amount in the skin so that we won’t sunburn so quickly when we ‘eat’ with our chloroplasts.
We must upgrade our bodies very cautiously. We don’t want to kill any of the myriads of biochemical checks and balances calibrated over eons.
But before that, we need to refuse all microbes, bacteria and viruses, any access to our cells or body. It’s been a pleasure but now please leave. Our microbiomes play a worthy role on the surfaces (in the crevices) of our skin and on our mucous membranes, including even, close to the surface of our lower airways. They occupy these places so that mean pathogens cannot colonize these otherwise sterile places. And some even make vital vitamins ‘for us’ in our intestines. But that is enough cooperation and symbiosis.
Plant microbes would never attack our cells. They don’t have the key. So it must be for all animal microbes. Let’s change the lock in our cell walls.
That is better than disinfectants, vaccines, antibiotics, and antibodies to kill microbes. Just deny them lodging. No more replication here. End of party.
If we don’t make ourselves go extinct from climate change or atomic wars, and you’ll hang in there, you’ll live to see this happen. It’s high time.
But until that time, get your vaccinations and eat your veggies!!