We’re pretty proud of
modern medicine. We’ve accumulated a very intricate understanding of how
our body works, what can go wrong with it, and what are options are for
tinkering with it to improve its health. We’ve got all sorts of tests,
treatments, and pills for it, with more on the way all the time.
However, there has been
increasing awareness of the impact our microbiota has on our health, and I
think modern medicine is reaching the point classical physics did when quantum
physics came along.
pictured the atom as kind of a miniature solar system, with well-defined
particles revolving in definite orbits around the solid nucleus. In
quantum physics, though, particles don’t have specific positions or exact
orbits, combine/recombine, get entangled, and pop in and out of
existence. At the quantum level everything is kind of fuzzy, but quantum
theory itself is astoundingly predictive. We’re fooled into thinking our
macro view of the universe is true, but our perceptions are wrong.
So it may be with modern
medicine. Our microbiota (including both the microbiome and mycobiome) both provide the fuzziness and dictate a significant portion of
Just over a half-century ago, in the mid-50s, at the height of our paranoia about communists and the Soviet Union, a boy sees a flying saucer land in the distance. No one else sees the event. The occupants of the mysterious spacecraft prove to be invaders from Mars. Their strategy is to capture people, one-by-one, and to perform brain surgery on them whereby an electrode controlling device is placed in the victims’ brains rendering them pawn s of the invaders, though they retain the superficial appearance of human beings. The only clue to recognizing one of these unfortunate robots is to look for the telltale antenna at the base of the hairline in the back of the neck.
In order to understand the profound meaning of the Invaders fromMars, you have to know a little neurology.
There are really two people within each of us, a fact that reflects the two almost mirror image cerebral hemispheres, each responsible for the opposite side of the body and extra-personal space. Put simply, damage to the left hemisphere will cause paralysis and loss of sensation on the right side of the body, including loss of perception from the right side of the world.
This loss of perception is more profound than simple blindness. If reflects the fact that anything that the brain does not record is actually not there. We live, after all, in virtual reality. What our brains do not sense is, for us, not there. Do the following experiment. What is behind your head? Not what you imagine might be there or what you think you remember is there. What is actually there? Is it black, white, striped? Try to describe it. You don’t have the words, because what is there is nothing, and nothing has no color, texture or shape. Is there an antenna at the base of your hairline? You couldn’t possible know, could you?