What Do Chimps Know About Holism and Healing?
Majid Ali, M.D.
What might a professor of drug medicine say about holism in healing arts? What might a good teacher say about holism in healing arts? What might an ethicist say about it? What might a chimp say about holism in healing?
Kadin, the eldest of our five grandsons, has a pug named Sydney Tutt Ali. Sydney told me that he has chirpy chimp friend who told him a story and then insisted that Kadin compel me to post it on my blog. Who can say NO to a grandson’s pug’s chimp friend. So, here is the chirpy chimp’s story.
A farmer’s dogs sleep in front of his ranch house. His sheep stay in the shed at the rear of the house. In the morning he makes his breakfast. The smell of his cooking wakes his dogs. Minutes later, the farmer appears at the door with food for his dogs. The dogs eat and then walk to the shed. The sheep get ready to be herded by the dogs, just as they have done for years.
Who starts the sheep? The farmer’s cooking? His appearance at the door? The dogs? Or the morning light? It is simply a case of Pavlovian conditioning, someone might say. Yes. That is true at one level. At another level, the sun created the conditions to form the planet Earth. The earth created the conditions to make farming possible. Now the earth spins to give the farmer its morning clues. The farmer creates the conditions for the dogs and the dogs for the sheep.
The sun created the oxygen conditions on the Earth which, in turn, created the conditions in which life began, differentiated, and grew into diverse life forms. The earliest cells on the planet (called primordial spherules) evolved in the oxygenless conditionsa bout three billion years ago when the atmosphere did not have appreciable amounts of free oxygen. The defining event in biology occurred when the primordial cells learned the ability to harness solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen—hydrogen for chemical bond energy and oxygen to provide the organizing influence for the evolutionary surge that built highly complex energetic and metabolic molecular systems.
Among the most sophisticated living systems on the planet are systems are hundreds of catalysts called enzymes. One important family of enzymes is called P450 enzymes. This family of enzyme systems evolved to provide for highly efficient energy generation systems in the cells called electron transport systems, which serve the energy needs of growing cells. They also evolved to protect primordial cells from direct oxygen toxicity. So, today we have the oxygen-driven ATP generation system in the body. Cells cannot breathe, produce energy, or use energy to live and perform their function.
When a pug visits his vet, holism means that the vet think of all parts of that pug, not just his falling hair, or an infected foot. Should it not be like this for little girls and boys, Sydney asked. Shouldn’t pediatricians think of all body parts of those little girls and boys before they drug them for this disease or that disease?
P450 enzymes are essential for producing hormones so that little babies can grow up to be girls and boys, and then women and men. So, when teenage girls grow hair on their face, shouldn’t the pediatricians think all parts of those girls. And when young women cannot have babies, shouldn’t their doctors think of P450 enzymes? And when they think of P450 enzymes, shouldn’t they they think of oxygen? And when they think of oxygen, shouldn’t they think of toxic foods and chemicals that poison their oxygen enzymes? Why don’t vets know this? Why don’t doctors know this?
Sydney is one smart dog. He is right. Oxygen in the air appeared on planet Earth long before evolution put together P450s enzymes. And P450 enzymes appeared on planet Earth long before hormones appeared. And hormone appeared on planet Earth long before little boys and girls did. And litt le boys and girls appeared long before ADD (attention deficit disorder) and autism did. All that happened after photons of sunlight freed oxygen from water. Then oxygen signals drove all aspects of human evolution.
Why don’t school psychologists study evolution? Before they attention deficit disorder and autism, why don’t they learn about the development of the brain? And about the oxygen order of the brain? Pediatricians dole out Ritalin and Adderall as if these are candies. Why don’t they first learn about how the brain gets its oxygen? Why don’t they first learn about what happens to the oxygen supply of the brain when parents bring up their babies on sugar and antibiotics? Why don’t they learn how sugar and antibiotics cause fermentation in the gut and how that causes fermentation in the brain? Don’t they know that toxic acids build up fast when the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen? Why are they so dumb?
Why don’t they? Sydney stared at me for several moments, then walked away
What might a chimp say on the subject? May I suggest a related story on this blog entitled “Chatty Chimps, Chirpy Chimplets, and Old Chuckling Chimp.”