Friday, November 14

Ladies and Germs

"All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays"-Cathy Ladman

I'll get back to that funny quote in a sec. Blah-so I'm up and sort of about. I feel very lightheaded when vertical so don't feel comfortable spending much time that way. But, I made myself get out of my sick bed today, wash the sick sheets, and put real clothes on. I am actually sitting on the couch as I type this. I've gone into my studio a couple of times and it just feels like this cold, alien environment. Not hospitable to my life form at the moment. So, I've been reading this book for about a year now. Put it down for a while and so re-read from the beginning again. It is really hard for me to absorb as it's written by a very intelligent person, with the assumption that those reading it are highly intelligent, but I am giving it my best shot. Some of you may wish to cover your eyes for a moment. The book is, The God Dellusion, by Richard Dawkins. It's quite interesting, if difficult to absorb. I actually brought it up in relation to my cold, and not religion.

I recently responded to some comments on my last post, that I wonder if now that I have the luxury of being sick and laying around, if that is good or bad for the cold. I know that I seem to stay sicker longer now than I used to. Some of this may just be age, but I do wonder about the effect of just lying there, letting the germs have a party in your body. Lo and behold, a few minutes ago I read this line in the book which I thought was appropro (spell and definition?I'll try and check on it). The line is in the context of a discussion in the chapter in which Dawkins is considering how religion could be seen as having any evolutionary benefit for humans. So, I will quote from there.

"Dan Dennett reminds us that the common cold is universal to all human peoples in much the same way as religion is, yet we would not want to suggest that colds benefit us. Plenty of examples are known of animals manipulated into behaving in such a way as to benefit the transmission of a parasite to its next host ... an animals behavior tends to maximize the survival of the genes "for" that that behavior, whether or not those genes happen to be in the body of the particular animal performing it."


So this brings me right back around to my comment this morning. I don't know the answer, but the question is this: who or what is benefiting from my laying there? Is this a response of my body's immune system trying to conserve energy and resources to fight off this parasite or is it the parasite who disables my body so as to be able to inhabit it more fully and therefor pass itself on to it's next host? Same can be said about sneezing or coughing. Is it the host trying to rid itself of the parasite or a mechanism used by the parasite (virus) to spread itself? All very fascinating food for thought.

2 comments:

kriips said...

funny... I was thinking the same thin this morning as I kept coughing and coughing... I could just see the "buggerdy" little things in my cough exhaled breath clinging to everything they could reach... just waiting for SOME BODY to brush against them... oh yes.
until then I had always thought it was my body trying to get rid of the parasite... maybe not.
cool blog. I'll bookmark you:)

Deborah Woods said...

Hi Kriips. thanks for reading!