You’ll be amused by this I hope, as much as educated! Current science says that the reason we have sex is because of parasites. It’s all a plan to beat the little devils.

It’s called the “Red Queen Scenario” and it has its detractors but it’s recently been the number one explanation for evolution. When I say “evolution”, I mean the arms race between different creatures for supremacy.

Matt Ridley wrote a comprehensive treatise on it, which he called The Red Queen.

Before that, the chief biological model was called “the tangled bank”, meaning plants and animals slugging it out along the riverbank!

So what is a “Red Queen” scenario? Sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it? Well, the expression comes from Lewis Carroll’s book Alice Through The Looking Glass. Not as well known as Alice in Wonderland—but the same Alice and same surreal characters and imaginings. 

At one point in the book, Alice is with the Red Queen (chess queen), and she is running, running, running, just to keep up and stay in one place. Now don’t mix her up with The Queen of Hearts (“Off with his head!”) in Alice in Wonderland. This is an altogether more subtle character.

parasites-pathogens

Brilliant (and otherwise beautiful) actress Helen Bonham-Carter played the Red Queen in Tim Burton’s wildly imaginative movie

The Queen and Alice are constantly running but remaining on the same spot. There are trees and forms alongside, but they never seem to change, no matter how fast they run! Maybe Lewis Carroll foresaw quantum theory! The quantum world, you may have noticed, is often described as having an “Alice in Wonderland” strangeness.

“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else—if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.” But this isn’t normal reality, remember.

What has this got to do with biology? Hang on, I’m coming to that…

The new model is of animals running to get ahead, in frantic haste, and yet no-one can win outright. They can’t break free of their competitors and predators.

Cue parasites: We are constantly embattled by clever and evolving parasites. They learn something new to attack us. Our genes evolve an answer to that, so we are safe again. Maybe we get even cleverer and evolve a new defense of some kind, before it’s put to the test… Ha ha! We win!

But no. Within a very short space of time the parasites have figured out a way round even the best defenses. Then they come up with a new hit method and again start decimating human populations [for a time]…

And so it goes on. That, dear friends, is the “Red Queen Scenario”.

Now here’s the interesting bit: some scientists think that the reason advanced animals evolved to the point of gender and sexuality, was in direct response to parasite attacks. Why not reproduce by just dividing, without sex? Two selves, then four, and so on?

Well, by having a complex “gene pool”, we could easily throw up variants with some kind of resistance to the latest wave of parasites.

They would be “selected” by natural selection; these lucky, evolved strains would become dominant and for a time succeed and pass their genes around everywhere.

It’s a curious theory but makes sense at many levels. And you will now understand the subtitle for Matt Ridley’s book! (see cover image below):

The Red Queen

Why Just Parasites?

It isn’t just parasites. Other pathogens interact with us in the same way! That includes microbes, such as bacteria AND VIRUSES!

The corona virus has been around humans for countless millennia. It causes a mild head cold, sometimes described as “flu” but nothing as bad as real influenza.

So why did it throw up a nasty SARS variant in 2002? Just because that’s what creatures do. They fling out variants and some succeed and take off to plague their targets.

COVID-19 is just such an explosive variant. I have said often enough that it isn’t anywhere near as deadly as being made out. But it is DIFFERENT. Unquestionably, there’s something odd about it. The pneumonia which may accompany it is actually quite unusual. Some frontline workers have said the sickness which ensues is more like high altitude oxygen deprivation than a true pneumonia.

Of course there are denyers. It couldn’t be true, therefore it’s nonsense, type of expert. But I believe the men and women on the front line, who are describing WHAT they see, not what they are supposed to see.

Patients are going blue (a sign of oxygen lack), even when the airways are open. And there are dire consequences to this difference. People on ventilators do not do well. Intubation and positive pressure ventilators, which every ER has been screaming for, actually damage the lungs and kill patients.

Again, there are the dodos who deny this and go on doing what they do—“Because that’s what we’ve always done”. Result? 88% of people who get as far as being put on a ventilator will die. That’s almost 90%! And yet there are still deniers.

Consider this report from the Northwell Health COVID-19 Research Consortium:

Among the 2,634 patients for whom outcomes were known, the overall death rate was 21%, but it rose to 88% for those who received mechanical ventilation.

These findings add fuel to the notion that ventilators may sometimes do more harm than good for patients battling for life with severe COVID-19.

Mechanical ventilators work by pushing air into the lungs of critically ill patients who can no longer breathe well on their own. These patients must be sedated and have a tube stuck into their throat. It seems that forcing air into unhealthy lungs isn’t the way to go.

Recognizing that complications from ventilator use can occur, some intensive care units (ICUs) have started to delay putting a COVID-19 patient on a ventilator until the last possible moment, when it is truly a life-or-death decision, said Dr. Udit Chaddha, an interventional pulmonologist with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Ventilating a patient

Ventilating a patient

“There had been a tendency earlier on in the crisis for people to put patients on ventilators early, because patients were deteriorating very quickly,” Chaddha said. “That is something that most of us have stepped away from doing.”

From the earliest days I expressed my belief that doctors were doing something wrong in Italy, which is why so many were dying there. They used ventilators routinely and early. They were killing people because they had not recognized that this is a DIFFERENT virus, with a different sneaky mode of attack.

And while I am about it, let me state clearly my view that the coronavirus we have down here in California and the South West is significantly different from the one that has laid New York waste. The NY version, presumably arriving from Europe, is much deadlier than our strain, which likely came direct from China to Los Angeles or San Francisco (or both).

Your truthteller Prof.,

Prof. Keith Scott-Mumby

The Official Alternative Doctor

Stay safe… please!

PS Next time, let’s look at what we need to do to be safe when the world starts to open up again.