Tuesday, 26 January 2016

More Nastiness From the 'Intelligent Designer'

WHO warns over spread of Zika virus - BBC News

It looks like creationism's intelligent (sic) designer has come up with another brilliant plan to add to human misery. Like so many of it's nasty little designs this one is another virus and it is using a tried and tested delivery system to make sure it spreads to as many people as possible - a blood-sucking parasite - in this case, mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, usually Aedes aegypti.

The virus is the Zika virus, so called because it was first isolated in 1952 from the blood of a macaque monkey from the Zika Forest in Uganda. It is one of a group of viruses known as the flaviviruses which cause dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and West Nile fever. All of these viruses are spread by parasitic arthropods such as mosquitoes.

Current distribution of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Source: Wikipedia
The Zika virus occurred in a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia until, during 2014 and 2015, it spread by island hopping across the Pacific to Central America and from there to South America and the Caribbean. It has now become pandemic in South America and is expected to spread to all parts of North and South America where Aedes mosquitos are present, although it shouldn't be beyond the wit of any decent omnipotent designer to rectify the problem of not having the right mosquitoes.

Symptoms of infection in a normal, healthy adult are usually not life threatening, resembling a mild form of dengue fever with mild headache, a rash and back pain which normally resolves itself within a few days. So, apart from mildly inconveniencing people for a few days, whatever purpose the putative intelligent (sic) designer designed the Zika virus was slightly puzzling. For an designer who keeps having to redesign so many parasites like the malaria-causing plasmodia to overcome the inventiveness of human science in finding treatments, designing a new virus like Zika to give us a mild headache and rash seems rather mundane and hardly worth its while. But, what looks like the intelligent (sic) designer's real malevolence here has only emerged recently; the virus sometimes and randomly causes a serious malformation in the developing human embryo.

There is now clear evidence that a recent increase in babies born with microcephaly (a brain that has failed to develop normally) in Brazil is linked to the Zika virus. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 3,500 cases of microcephaly have been reported in Brazil in the four months between October 2015 and January 2016 alone. There are also indications that the Zika virus may be associated with cases of Guillain–Barré syndrome and possibly other neurological disorders.

So, given that design is always for a purpose, this, in addition to mildly inconveniencing human adults, appears to be the sole purpose for the Zika virus. Would any creationist like to suggest a reason why a supposedly maximally good, anthropophilic designer would design a special virus for producing seriously malformed human babies? Is it just sheer malevolent nastiness or is there another reason?

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