Friday, November 20, 2015

How would Jesus have made WWII penicillin ?

Ethical systems aren't usually advocated solely on the basis that they produce 'better outcomes' than other ethical systems.

But what if one claims that a system of ethics is based on the behavior of the tiny, weak and primitive microbes, who have survived all that the Universe has thrown at them for 4 billion years?

Can one can not then advance the thesis that the value of microbe 'ethics' is based on their unlikely-otherwise historical survival success and hence are truly evidence-based?

I believe Dr Henry Dawson's advocating the wartime mass production of natural penicillin for all was based on seeing that the microbes survived by an ethos of 'with help from all, there is hope for all' : based on their HGT, the free 'horizontal gift transferring' of new and valuable genes throughout the microbe world.

The Allied leadership had advocated only making just enough wartime penicillin to treat the lightly wounded among frontline Allied troops when and if it was first patented as a 100% pure synthetic man-made drug : an 1A drug for 1A troops.

A closed commensality, exclusionary, gated community approach.

In pointed contrast, Dawson wanted penicillin mass produced - now! - as impure but safe natural penicillin, made by 4F penicillium slime, and given to all - 4Fs as well as 1As.

An inclusive, open commensality approach.

So yes Dawson did ferment the first industrial pilot plant level amounts of clinical penicillin, right in the corridors of his own hospital, but what he was actually fermenting was a new set of ethics for a globe in crisis...

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