Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Some Don't Need Vaccine
A letter to the editor in the San Luis Obispo (CA) paper.
Recent news about the avian flu virus has raised concerns from main street to the White House. There is the possibility, even likelihood, that the virus will mutate into a form that can more easily infect humans. As the president pointed out, a vaccine cannot be made until this evolution occurs. This raises the concern that it may be impossible to create enough vaccine fast enough to protect all our citizens. But there is hope. Gallup polls tell us that up to 45 percent of Americans don't believe in evolution. Since random mutation is the engine of evolution, these same people must believe that the virus cannot mutate. Therefore, there is no need to waste vaccine on folks who believe there is no possible threat to themselves -- thus leaving a sufficient supply for the rest of us.
Perhaps the president, given his doubts about evolution, may wish to demonstrate his leadership by foregoing vaccination. This approach has added benefits. Polls also tell us that disbelief in evolution is more pronounced among the less educated, the poor and conservatives. If the anti-evolutionists among these groups were to opt out of vaccination then, through immediate deaths and natural selection, we would reduce poverty, raise educational attainment, and become a more progressive society. George R Zug Divis. Amphibians & Reptiles Smithsonian Institution