Health from Unlikely Sources: Poison and Scum
“Everything in moderation,” health professionals remind us during the holidays. Some things, however, none of us would have wanted at all – till scientists found there was treasure in them.
Botulinum toxin (botox), for instance, is one of the deadliest of biological poisons, but by now everyone knows it is being put to good use in cosmetic surgery. A news release on EurekAlert announced that botox is useful for more than just “ironing wrinkles.” In addition to treating excessive sweating or reducing skin wrinkles, “it is also a highly effective natural substance that normalizes muscle activity and can be used to reduce pain and itch.” Doctors keep finding new uses for botox at both ends of the digestive tract.
Another article on EurekAlert announced a promising substance in “pond scum” that might lead to a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. A substance in Nostoc, a cyanobacterium, shows potent activity as a cholinesterase inhibitor. If so, it might help slow the degradation of mental and memory functions in those suffering from the degenerative disease.
Science should not only help us understand the natural world, but find ways to improve the human condition. Sir Francis Bacon echoed Jesus’ teaching that a tree is known by its fruit. A good science will produce good fruit: in the case of science, increased health and prosperity for humans in ways that improve the environment (compare with the fruit of Darwinism: see 11/30/2005). We should look at the world like a treasure hunt, the way George Washington Carver did. Things that seem dangerous, ugly or boring sometimes prove to contain hidden treasures.
These two stories owe nothing to Darwin. Evolutionists would have us believe that everything is out for itself, trying to propagate its own genes at the expense of its neighbors. Darwinism sees a world of fierce competition, with cooperation only useful occasionally, but with selfishness as the highest good. Creationism sees a biosphere made for man and the other organisms. Design-based science could scour the world for cures while adding to the store of human natural knowledge. Design science sans Darwinism has the intellectual foundation to usher in a new scientific revolution.