August 30, 2007

Time for Theists and Design Advocates to Step Up and Answer

A new study indicates that a tiny organism spread by biting flies in Africa, responsible for a disease called onchocerciasis that causes blindness and currently afflicts some 37,000,000 people, is rapidly evolving resistance to the only drug available for treatment.

Ivermectin is causing genetic selection in river blindness parasite

Contact: Johanna Dehlinger
Public Library of Science

Ivermectin, the standard drug for treating river blindness (onchocerciasis), is causing genetic changes in the parasite that causes the disease, according to a new study by Roger Prichard (McGill University, Canada) and colleagues, published on August 30, 2007 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. These genetic changes have previously been linked with parasites becoming resistant to ivermectin...

Ivermectin has been used for mass treatment of river blindness for up to 18 years and is currently the only safe drug available for mass treatment of the estimated 37 million people infected with the O. volvulus parasite. According to this study, the genetic selection shown “could have implications for the development of ivermectin resistance in O. volvulus and for the ongoing onchocerciasis control programmes..."
The research paper is available in full and free of charge here. If you're going to respond to the following question, it's a good idea to read the paper first so you have an idea of what you're responding to.

The question for Creationists and Intelligent Design advocates of all stripes is this: why would a creator and/or intelligent designer devise a mechanism by which an organism that destroys millions of human lives every year could overcome the sole known treatment and create even more misery? In other words, why would this omnipotent and benevolent entity that created everything have created the disease-causing organism, created us with the capacity to combat the disease, and then throw in the additional twist of fooling us by making it so that the parasite could come roaring back not even two decades after the hope of alleviating the pain came into being?

All coherent responses will be entertained. Attacks against asking the question at all, personal invective, etc., will not be published.

Science gives us an answer as to why this happens, and a clear one at that. What's the theistic reason for this phenomenon?

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