RE: Mad Cow Implications for Cryos

From: Peter C. McCluskey (
Date: Tue May 22 2001 - 10:52:15 MDT (Harvey Newstrom) writes:
>I predict many waves of complex, long-term diseases to be a big health
>challenge to life extensionists in the future. We are already seeing
>epidemics in cancer, Alzheimer's, heart attacks, MS, and other "complicated"
>diseases. Our big threats are no longer microbes, but complex environmental
>factors that interact with our bodies over the long term.

 Are there any good reasons to think these diseases are not caused by microbes?
 Paul Ewald's book Plague Time points out that if problems like this were
merely the result of bad genes, evolution would probably have eliminated them.
Whereas small organisms that prey on us can evolve fast enough that our
genes should be expected to be a bit too out of date to fully deal with
those microbes. It seems from evolutionary considerations like there ought
to be a fair number of organisms pursuing a strategy of infecting people in
ways that only show harm decades after they infect a person, and that most
people should have some of these infections.
 Ewald presents some fairly strong evidence that the medical community has a
long history of underestimating the number of diseases that are caused by
microbes. I don't see any signs that the medical community has corrected
the biases that have caused that underestimation.
 Plague Time is a bit too sensationalist. But since Ewald's prior book, The
Evolution of Infectious Diseases, was much more rigorous (and somewhat less
interesting), I don't think this sensationalism indicates he's careless
(merely that he's at least as interested in selling books as he is in
informing people).

Peter McCluskey          | Fed up with democracy's problems? Examine Futarchy: | or .ps

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