Filed under: Book Conservation, Carl Zimmer, Connections, Faith healing, Health, National Geographic, Predictions, Psychic abilities, Science, Science Fiction, Society, Writing stuff | Tags: blogging, book conservation, bookbinding, Carl Zimmer, civilization, Communion of Dreams, dental hygiene, diet, Ed Yong, evolution, faith healing, genetics, health, jim downey, National Geographic, predictions, psychic abilities, science, Science Fiction, St. Cybi's Well, writing
I’ve been entirely preoccupied with a big book conservation project which landed in my lap unexpectedly and needed attention right away (and trying to keep work going on St. Cybi’s Well), but a news item I saw the other day has been kicking around in my head. Er, so to speak. It’s the notion that the quality of dental hygiene & health in the modern era is *much* worse than it was before the advent of civilization. Here’s a good passage from one of the better articles which sums this up:
Our mouths are now a gentrified shadow of their former selves. And as Carl Zimmer described earlier this week, ecosystems with an impoverished web of species are more vulnerable to parasites. He was writing about frogs and lakes, but the same is true of bacteria and mouths. The narrow range of microbes in industrialised gobs are more vulnerable to invasions by species that cause disease, cavities, and other dental problems. “As an ecosystem, it has lost resilience,” says Cooper. “It basically became a permanent disease state.”
Of course, current thinking is that this is due to a fairly radical change in diet between the two time periods, with our reliance now on domesticated grain crops.
But I know the real reason:
“He had a nutty theory that early man had been shortlived, but impervious to disease. Something about being able to trace back mutation clues to some proto-genes that suggested a powerful ability to heal.” Jackie frowned.
Yeah, that’s from almost the end of Communion of Dreams. And is a topic we’ll revisit in the prequel.
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