Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Malevolent Design News - A New Way To Make Us Sick

Asian longhorn tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis
Photo credit: Center for Disease Control and Prevention
New Yorkers Brace for Self-cloning Asian Longhorned Tick | Columbia News.

Creationism's Malevolent Designer has been busy recently. Not only have we recently learned how it has armed a bacterium with a virus to use to trick our immune systems so it can prevent wounds from healing, we have just discovered how it has designed a new way to deliver parasitic pathogens directly into our bloodstream.

This delivery system is the Asian longhorn tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis, an invasive species that is rapidly becoming common in Staten Island, New York, USA, and will almost certainly spread from there. Ticks are arachnids which live as blood-sucking parasites, mostly on vertebrates. Like other blood-sucking parasites they can transfer blood-borne infections between its hosts.

What gives this new threat to human health its special edge, is its ability to breed rapidly. This comes from its ability to clone itself and so breed asexually as well as its ability to reproduce sexually to produce 1-2,000 eggs at a time. Being able to clone itself means it only needs a single female to establish a population.

Another neat little twist is that this species inhabits grass as well as the woodland areas inhabited by native ticks. This means that parks and other open recreational areas are liable to carry populations of them, so public health information on how to avoid ticks needs to be revised and extended to include just about everywhere that people go.

These ticks have been detected in eastern and southern US states including New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and Arkansas

As a team from Columbia University has shown, between 2017 and 2018, the population of these ticks in the parks of Staten Island increased by 1,698 percent. The number of ticks collected from a sample area increased from 85 to 1,529. Their results were published a few days ago in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Abstract
Haemaphysalis longicornis, an invasive Ixodid tick, was recently reported in the eastern United States. The emergence of these ticks represents a potential threat for livestock, wildlife, and human health. We describe the distribution, host-seeking phenology, and host and habitat associations of these ticks on Staten Island, New York, a borough of New York City.

Tufts DM, VanAcker MC, Fernandez MP, et al.
Distribution, Host-Seeking Phenology, and Host and Habitat Associations of Haemaphysalis longicornis Ticks, Staten Island, New York, USA. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2019;25(4):792-796. doi:10.3201/eid2504.181541.

Published copyright free by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov).

So, if you're a believer in Intelligent Design, you have to believe that your putative designer designed these ticks for the purpose they seem to be serving, because nothing this supposedly intelligent designer designs does things other than those they were designed to do by a designer who knew perfectly what his designs could and would do.

Strangely though, you can never get an intelligent design advocate to explain why this putative designer appears to be so intent on making us sick. They claim ID is a real science and a real alternative to evolution as an explanation of the observable facts, yet need to invoke 'The Fall' to explain disease and parasites. 'The Fall' is not science but Bible mythology and Hebrew origin myth. Incorporating a fundamentalist, literal interpretation of a holy book in any explanation renders it religion, not science, as does invoking a supernatural entity.






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