1 Jan 2017

Fascinating post by Dr Wile at ... we have all succombed to the reasoning put abroad in the media and by earnest people in the health industry warning us about the danger of indulging in too many antibiotic treatments. We have all been constantly bombarded with the claim that over use of antibiotics is leading to the mutation of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and eventually they will overcome them and make the use of antibiotics obsolete - but do the biologists agree with this populist argument?

One of the groups that like to frolic in these claims about antibiotics are those of a vegetarian persuasion. It is all part of the process of convincing themselves their plates of food are more healthy than others. They must have some genuine reason for rejecting the eating of animal flesh - even though humans have been doing this for countless thousands of years. The use of antibiotics to treat farm animals is one of those concoctions that you will find repeated over and over again whenever the subject of diet and well being is brought up. These scare stories are milder forms of the CAGW alarmism - but alarmism all the same. Well, it seems that like a lot of consensus thinking, this may be a load of codswallop. Dr Wile goes so to say he had a post on this same issue, five years ago- yet the mainstream have been pumping out the message that antibiotics are under threat from bacteria that have evolved to become resistant to them, all through that period. In fact, five years ago researchers found bacteria with antibiotic resistant genes in permafrost alongside mammoth genes. Now, an even more impressive piece of research comes from a cave isolated from the modern world where they have also found bacterium already resistant to modern antibiotics. In other words, resistance has not suddenly developed as a result of humans using this treatment method but resistant genes have been in existence for a long period prior to modern medical research - and long before vets came armed to the farmyard with antibiotic jabs.  

Dr Wile's slant is that this contradicts evolutionary theory, the idea of natural selection producing genes that mutate and survive as the fittest. However, all that has occurred with these discoveries is that the resistant gene has been pushed back deep into the past - or that is what a biologist would argue. What caught my fancy was that it again shows up the shallow nature of so many of our consensus points of view. Relying on mainstream knowing the be all and end all, in this case, has been shown up to be just another one of the assumptions that are endlessly repeated and therefore become factoids endlessly trotted out by people and institutions, especially in education and in the media. Joe Public repeats the same mantra as he has read about it or been told about it and it therefore lodges in the back of the mind - to be set loose whenever the subject of antibiotics is mentioned. This must be telling us something about our brains and the way we tend to herd when it comes to group think. In a way it explains how the global warming issue was able to become an avalanche of make believe pedalled by all and sundry - politicos, preprogrammed media talking heads, and renewable millionaires and hedge fund managers. It was only the people on the edge of society  that did not swallow it wholesale - the people who left school without going into higher education, the elderly who had been programmed into a different kind of climate science (that of people such as HH Lamb), and those made of firmer mettle who actually went out to look for the evidence (and found it did not exist). The latter are to be commended - and the idea of consensus science and consensus politics should be treated with a fair dose of scepticism - at all times. This means we should not ignore Dr Wile because he is a creationist rather than an evolutionist. We should look at all points of view and avoid caricature as too often mainstream is caught with flat feet whilst hiding something behind their backs. How many people out there are aware of this research? You can bet the scare story of antibiotic resistant genes will continue unabated. That is the nature of humans. It also explains why it is so hard for neo-catastrophism to become an acceptable part of research into the past and why it has and will continue to be by-passed. Consensus group think means the subject is avoided like the plague.

Unlike a lot of blogs the comments that follow the article are thoughtful and sensible. There are no insults or ad hominems - the issue is addressed rather than the person. They include scientists and lay people with contrary views but . express them in a civilised manner without resorting to verbal diarrhea as is the norm on some blogs and web sites. You are able to enjoy the comments as much as the article. Well worth reading.