Thursday, 4 July 2013

A Sick World

A sick world in gorgeous close-up - health - 26 June 2013 - New Scientist

This stunning image, published in today's New Scientist is by the artist Odra Noel who trained as a doctor. It represents the major health problems in each area of the world.

I wonder how religious people, who attribute illness to their god as some sort of retributive punishment account for it. For that matter, even if they don't subscribe to the divine punishment by a vindictive god idea and just believe that their god created everything for a human-centered purpose, how do they account for their god creating what looks suspiciously like a broad-brush approach to inflicting diseases on mankind, for whatever reason?

Wouldn't you expect a god who cares for each and every one of us and takes a close personal interest in all aspects of our lives, to show a little finesse? Why, for instances, do Americans get the obesity, Europeans get degenerative diseases associated with longevity whilst South-East Asians get diabetes and Greenlanders seem to have a fertility problem?

Could the most vicarious explanation be that gods don't play any population health and that it's a combination of economics, culture, geography, genetics and climate?

You can see more of Odra Noel's work here.

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  1. In all fairness, not that I completely disagree with your assessment of the broad brush stroke, but individuals do get different health crises within those given cultures. For example, some people in America do get diabetes without suffering from obesity. Also, not all people in the UK have degenerative diseases. I guess what I'm saying is if you're looking at the common problems in a given culture it seems very broad brush stroke (as you stated), but like you said the economics, culture, geography, etc play a role in disease (which suggest individual changes can occur per person). It more supports the adaptation of a culture due to environmental factors (which doesn't automatically rule out a god) than it does show god's inexplicable cultural wrath. I think there are plenty of arguments that already do rule out a god, but this is more of a support for a theory. Great post though, love your blog!

  2. I think the broad brush was rather the point. The painting deals with generalities not specific individuals.


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