Walking the tightrope (of modern medicine) without a net in sight…

Walking the tightrope (of modern medicine) without a net in sight…

Dr. McConnell, a professor of genetics at Trinity College in England, wonders why so many people opt for herbal pills rather than seeing their doctor. Isn’t the answer obvious? They’ve had bad experiences with doctors and their pills. Think Vioxx. Think synthetic estrogen and synthetic progesterone–both related to increased cancer risk. Think DES, a hormone that caused horrible deformities in children in Europe. Don’t you think we should all be a little wary of science that works in such a haphazard manner?

But taking herbal pills was just one of McConnell’s many concerns. When he delivered the prestigious Littleton Lecture this year, he led an all-out attack on non-conventional medicine, the press, and religion– with the one notable exception of the religion of science.

He also wonders why some parents avoid immunizing their children… Let’s have a brief history lesson. Are you aware, Dr. McConnell, of the scandal over the polio vaccine that was contaminated with the SV 40 virus? Millions of children were vaccinated with it back in the 1960s even though SV 40 was known to cause brain tumors in experimental animals. The head of the FDA some 20 years later remarked during an address to doctors: “We dodged the bullet that time.” But did we? Brain tumors have increased in that group (now ages 40 to 50). Coincidence?

It’s only been two months since I told you about Peter Fletcher’s attack on the MMR vaccine. This former Chief Scientific Officer from Britain’s Department of Health broke ranks from those who admire science perhaps a little too much when he publicly announced that he considered MMR to be one of the greatest scandals in medical history. Fletcher is convinced that the live measles virus in MMR can cause brain, gut, and immune system damage in a small number of vulnerable children.

But in spite of this damning report from a REAL expert on the subject, McConnell told his audience: “Overwhelming medical evidence and study after controlled study have disproven (sic) any connection between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and autism. Yet parents remain more fearful of the vaccine than the serious, even fatal, childhood illnesses it prevents.” Measles, mumps, and rubella are rarely serious and very rarely fatal. They are self-limiting diseases and, incidentally, were disappearing before the introduction of highly questionable vaccines.

Looking for the good in everyone

McConnell’s one redeeming quality is his take on genetic engineering. He said, “Genetic engineering, which consistently gets a bad press, is an example of what can happen when the press listens to scientists with a political mission. Genetic engineering has revolutionized medicine, agriculture, forensic science. There’s no other area of science with a cleaner record.”

I’ll give him that. Genetically modified food is more resistant to weeds, pests, and disease, it has a longer shelf life, a better yield, and it uses less herbicids and other chemicals. Genetically modifying animals or humans is an entirely different matter because of the religious and ethical issues involved. But in terms of GM food, I just haven’t heard any credible arguments against it.

But then there’s McConnell’s final attack on religion itself. He’s an evolutionist all the way–won’t even consider the idea of intelligent design as a possible answer to the origin of the earth and its flora and fauna. He goes so far as to compare promoting intelligent design to arguing that the earth is flat. That’s because what he believes–but never actually says–is that there is no God.

For some reason, atheistic scientists seem uncomfortable actually vocalizing that simple truth. But you know what he’s really thinking is: “If you believe in God you’re a simpleton, and you don’t deserve to be in my audience.” And what I’m really thinking is: Don’t you and your coreligionists in the Church of Evolution have any guts or cajones? JUST SAY IT! “I don’t believe in God!” Now, don’t you feel better? At least to thine own self be true.

The thing to remember in all of this is that wisdom from a dissident who breaks from the pack sometimes sees farther than the intelligence of a university snoot who has given prestigious lectures all over the place. In my opinion, that’s about ALL that McConnell proves.