Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Small Scale Evolution versus Intelligent Design

As I was contemplating my office's order for influenza vaccine for this season I was torn by a debate. Every year a new vaccine is needed because the influenza virus has become resistant to the previous year's vaccine. The virus has changed, or evolved. The underlying biology is analogous to the evolution of species (and students who do not study evolution will be lacking the necessary framework to understand such basic facts in biology).

Is this a really a change in the virus, or are the right wingers right and has an intelligent designer made the influenza virus change every year so that new vaccines are needed, and some years we get a pandemic?

Along these lines, I have a patient with Methacillin Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA) in the hospital right now. The Staph has changed (evolved) to become resistant to older antibiotics. MRSA is a major problem for hospitals. Have the right wingers been right and the scientists wrong all these years? Is MRSA, and other cases of antibiotic resistance, yet another example of an intelligent designer intervening to screw us medically?


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